PFA Players’ Player of the Year Mohamed Salah scored his 32nd Premier League goal of the season as Liverpool thrashed Brighton 4-0 on Sunday.
Mohamed Salah has been scoring these kind of goals all season, making the difficult seem routine, but the one that arrived in the 26th minute of Liverpool’s clash with Brighton was anything but ordinary. This one – number 32 in the Premier League – made history.
For Jurgen Klopp, it was a strike to define the game and set Liverpool on their way to Champions League qualification once again. But for Salah, this was a shot that propelled him beyond the modern giants – Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez – and into territory of his own.
What a remarkable year this has been for the man whom The Kop have christened ‘The Egyptian King’; if his numbers in the Premier League take your breath away, this was his 44th strike in all competitions and the one which secured him the Golden Boot.
No wonder, when Klopp decided to substitute him late in the game, that Anfield rose in unison to salute Salah. Given what he has done over the last nine months, you wouldn’t bet against there being one more goal arriving in the Champions League final.
Liverpool’s strength, after all, is their ability to take games away from teams in the blink of an eye, and Real Madrid will be conscious that Klopp’s men will attack them in Kiev, their confidence having been bolstered by what was the perfect warm up game.
Klopp, before Brighton’s visit, had been tense and agitated and his mood on the touchline left you in no doubt of how much he did not want to see Liverpool trip up on the final day and drop out of the top four for the first time since December 13.
The Egyptian king opened the scoring in the 26th minute to put Liverpool ahead and Dejan Lovren doubled his side lead just before half time with a powerful header for his second Premier League goal of the campaign.