AMID the second-half chaos of Liverpool’s thrashing of Manchester United, Mohamed Salah made history.
With his strike that put the Reds six ahead – on their way to a 7-0 victory – the Egyptian forward became Liverpool’s all-time top Premier League scorer.
Salah scored his 128th and 129th goals in 205 appearances in the league for Liverpool on Sunday.
With his double against United, Salah even managed to overtake the man known as ‘God’ by Reds fans.
Salah has surpassed Robbie Fowler as Liverpool’s leading scorer in Premier League history. How apt that he should do it at Anfield – and against United.
And how was he going to celebrate? “With my family and have camomile tea and sleep,” Liverpool’s talisman replied.
He completed a lightning counter-attack by slamming a high finish past David de Gea in the 66th minute for his first goal and his side’s fourth, to become the first Liverpool player to score in six consecutive appearances in all competitions against United.
A scrambled finish on 83 minutes then secured the scoring record, and his 10th goal against United in the Premier League – more than any other player.
That was his 178th Liverpool goal in all competitions, placing him seventh on the Reds’ all-time list behind Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Billy Liddell, Gordon Hodgson, Roger Hunt and Ian Rush, who leads the way on 346.
In terms of all-time league goals, Salah’s tally of 129 puts him sixth, with fifth-placed Harry Chambers (135) in his sights but it’s then a huge leap to Liddell’s 215 with Hunt topping that chart on 244.
Salah has served as chief tormentor of United for some time – his 10 goals against them take him past Gerrard who netted eight in the Premier League against the Old Trafford side. In doing so, Salah has cemented his standing as a modern Liverpool legend.
He has scored against 26 different clubs in the Premier League, netting nine in matches against both Watford and West Ham, and eight in fixtures with Bournemouth.
But Salah has scored more league goals against Manchester United than any other club. No wonder fans and club legends alike love him.
|Minutes per goal
“He’s been fantastic for this club,” former Liverpool player and manager Graeme Souness said of Salah on Sky Sports.
“He’s the greediest striker I have come across, but all top strikers are. A class act.
“The hardest thing is to get a goalscorer and he is a natural. I am sure he is great to work with and when you have players like that in your dressing room, you have a great chance.”
There have been times this season, with Liverpool underwhelming in the league and Salah devoid of long-time strike partner Sadio Mane, who departed for Bayern Munich last summer, where he has looked below his best.
However, Sunday was a timely reminder of the talents of a player who can be perceived as having a poor Premier League season while scoring 11 goals so far and assisting seven more.
“I never worry about Salah,” another former Liverpool player, Jamie Carragher, told Sky Sports. “Now and again he goes a few games without scoring, but he is a great goalscorer.
“He comes alive in big games, with that pace and energy. He has been a revelation and one of the best attacking players we have ever seen in the Premier League.”
A burst of league form – four wins in five games with 13 goals scored and none conceded – have placed Liverpool back in the Champions League qualification race with a bang. They now sit three points behind Tottenham in fourth with a game in hand.
If Liverpool are to return to elite European competition, manager Jurgen Klopp has no doubt Salah will be key.
“One hundred and twenty-nine goals – that is insane,” Klopp said after the United thumping. “What an unbelievable number. He is a special player.
“We appreciate him now but in the future people will look back and be wow, we witnessed something really special.”
Salah told Sky Sports: “It is very special to win a game like that. We need to stay humble and win our games. Hopefully it will give us a big push.”
On his goal record, he said: “It’s very special. I cannot lie. This record was in my mind since I came here.”
Salah won the Golden Boot for the Premier League’s top scorer with 32 goals in 2017-18 and added: “I think after my first season I was always chasing that record.”
It was a performance to dispel any doubts about not only Salah’s ability, but also his commitment to Liverpool, as summed up in his answer to the question of which of those 129 goals was his favourite.
“The last one.”
KNTags: Liverpool Mohamed Salah Premier League Robbie Fowler