Monday,25 March, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1394, (17 - 23 May 2018)
Monday,25 March, 2019
Issue 1394, (17 - 23 May 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Salah makes history

Al-Ahram Weekly

EGYPT’S Mohamed Salah set a new Premier League scoring record as Liverpool sealed a place in next season’s Champions League with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Brighton, and manager Jurgen Klopp believes the forward can “still improve so much”.

Salah was the centre of attention as he was feted on his side’s home pitch after the final match of the season. There was the Golden Boot for Premier League’s top scorer to be presented, and the club’s Player of the Year trophy too. The forward was clearly moved, and he shared the moment with his wife and young daughter.

It was his record goal that set the Reds on course to blowing Brighton away. The opener, a low finish from Dominic Solanke’s pass, was Salah’s 32nd goal of the campaign — the most by a player in a 38-game Premier League season.

What a remarkable season it has been for the Egyptian forward who signed from Roma for £34m last summer.

Some doubted his ability to perform in England following his disappointing spell at Chelsea, but the goal that broke the Premier League record was his 44th in 51 games for Liverpool in all competitions this season.

Alan Shearer scored 31 Premier League goals for Blackburn in 1995-96, Cristiano Ronaldo did the same for Manchester United in 2007-08, and Luis Suarez netted 31 for Liverpool in 2013-14.

Shearer, for Blackburn in 1994-95, and Andy Cole, for Newcastle United in 1993-94, jointly hold the Premier League scoring record for a 42-match season — with 34 goals.

Perhaps that total is what Salah was thinking of when he was taken off just before Liverpool’s fourth, visibly disappointed. He left with Brighton at their most vulnerable, weary and exhausted from an afternoon living on their nerves against Liverpool’s attack.

Salah added the Premier League’s Player of the Season award to the two other major individual prizes he was won this year — the PFA Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year awards.

But with the Champions League final against Real — winners of the past two tournaments — to come, the biggest piece of silverware is still to be settled.

Liverpool manager Klopp told BBC Sport: “I had no clue about (Salah’s) record. I took him off and then I heard that Tottenham had scored five — Harry Kane could have got them all! He has been brilliant and he can improve so much. He will score in the future, 100%.”

Kane, who had won the Premier League scoring title the last two seasons, finished with 30 goals, two behind Salah.

Liverpool would have slipped out of the top four had they lost and Chelsea beaten Newcastle, but they made sure the Blues’ result — a 3-0 defeat at St James’ Park — was irrelevant.

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