Mohamed Salah is invaluable to Liverpool and he reminded us all of that fact against Manchester City on Sunday.
The Egyptian has been under fire in recent weeks as he took a backseat role at Liverpool for the first time since his £34m arrival. That’s been down to two factors.
Firstly, Salah hasn’t been particularly good in front of goal. He went into the City clash with just two Premier League goals from open play and without any real matchwinning performances.
Secondly, Sadio Mane has been brilliant, setting a standard that Salah had thus far failed to reach. He was now the main-man at Anfield.
We wrote ahead of the City game that Salah could change that perception, though. After all, this game was far bigger than those that preceded it and a match-winning performance would make waves.
And Liverpool’s number 11 provided just that with a superb finish on 13 minutes. That’s all that Liverpool really needed from him – to be clinical when it mattered.
No one should underestimate the quality of his goal, either. Yes, Andy Robertson’s cross was outstanding but the finish was truly world-class.
A rising ball, first-time, on the run, met with a header? That was the kind of goal that only elite players finish, let alone with the ease Salah managed.
That made it 2-0 and would eventually prove to be the winner. It serves the perfect reminder of why Salah is invaluable to Liverpool.
If Liverpool do end up as Premier League champions, we’ll be looking back at that goal as arguably the most important of the season. And it could only have been scored by a player like Salah.