Martin King has a go at choosing the top five goals scored by Mohamed Salah this season – a tricky debate that is ongoing on Twitter at the moment.
The last few days have been filled with Mohamed Salah-fever, and you didn’t have to be a Liverpool fan to be a part of it.
The Egyptian claimed the PFA Player of the Year award on Sunday, confirming him as England’s best player for the 2017/18 season, his first in a Liverpool shirt. Along the way, Salah has claimed eleven other individual awards, scoring a staggering 31 Premier League goals, along with finding the back of the net ten more times in all competitions.
Picking only five out of that total 43 (at the time of publishing) is sure to be a difficult task then, but it’s one worth tackling together below.
5 – A venomous volley vs. Stoke City
He may not have been in the starting line-up for this league game at Stoke City, but Salah was in hot form, having scored ten goals in the top flight for the season.
The winger came on as a second-half substitute, with the Reds protecting a 1-0 lead at the Potteries. After some good wing-play saw teammate Sadio Mané beat an opponent into the box before delivering a well-weighted cross, the Egyptian lashed the incoming ball into the goal.
That was Salah’s eleventh Premier League goal of the season, “a venomous volley” as the commentator called it then and one that any goalkeeper would’ve had trouble dealing with.
4 – Record-equaling curler vs. Southampton
Salah’s first ever spell in England’s top flight may have been an underwhelming period in his career, but his return season has been all about matching and breaking records.
Against Southampton back in November, he equaled that of a man known around Anfield simply as ‘God’. Receiving the ball on the right-side edge of the box, Salah took a light first touch, before curling the ball past Fraser Forster to score a goal that put him level with Robbie Fowler on 8 goals in his first 12 league appearances for Liverpool.
3 – Breakaway goal vs. Arsenal
Find me one football fan that didn’t sit at the edge of their seat, eyes wide open, anticipating in either excitement or dread, what was going to happen next after Salah dispossessed Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin of the ball, following a well-defended corner.
It is perhaps that factor alone, that the run from one half to the other – which ended in the Liverpool winger slotting home past Petr Čech – invokes so much emotion that determines why the goal deserves a place in this line-up.
It’s a clear reminder of just why we love football: not just because we get to see it, but because we also feel every moment.
2 – Derby day delight vs. Everton
Once again, he’s found in his starting position down the right wing and is being closed down by Everton’s Cuco Martina, with Idrissa Gueye lurking nearby. At this point in the season (with 18 goals in all competitions under his belt) that’s only the minimum amount of men needed to stop Salah.
Without breaking a sweat, Liverpool’s top marksman muscles himself away from Martina, gets past Gueye and just when a third man, Ashley Williams, thinks he has him trapped, Salah produces one of the most stunning goals you will ever see in a Merseyside derby: swiftly lifting the ball up to find the right corner, giving the ‘keeper no chance.
It’s perhaps the goal that started fueling comparisons to a certain Lionel Messi.
1 – THAT second piece of magic vs. Tottenham Hotspur
If the goal against Everton began comparisons between Salah and Messi, then the former Roma striker’s second in the league game against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield solidified his talent alongside one of football’s all-time greats.
It’s not often that Liverpool score a goal seconds after a throw-in, but the sheer speed of body and thought by Salah to beat four men after receiving the ball from teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold, before toe-poking the ball into the back of the net, not only makes it a rare goal after a throw-in for Liverpool, but means we’ve seen arguably one of the greatest individual goals by a Reds player in the history of the club.
Up there with Messi’s best. Up there, as Salah’s best goal so far in a Liverpool shirt.
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