Mohamed Salah didn’t score against Chelsea on Sunday but he did keep up his brilliant start to the season. His five key passes attest to that.
There was a spotlight on Salah against Chelsea after his opening-day hat-trick against Leeds United. Yes, there were two penalties in that haul but the Egyptian was far-and-away the best player on the Anfield pitch.
He was a livewire, running at defenders, causing chaos and looking like Salah at his very best.
Unfortunately, we didn’t quite see that at Stamford Bridge. Salah didn’t bag a goal against Chelsea as Sadio Mane took the headlines with a brilliant brace.
But a look into the background shows Salah quietly had another great game.
Salah didn’t have a great game in front of goal. He managed four shots but only one hit the target, with two blocked on their way to goal.
But that didn’t faze him. Instead, he focused on creating chances for others.
Salah finished the game with five key passes, i.e. passes that led to shots for teammates. Liverpool have 13 key passes total, and Salah managed over twice as many as the entire Chelsea team (two).
That stat doesn’t even include Salah’s biggest contribution, either. The £34m man played an excellent give and go with Roberto Firmino in and around Chelsea’s box that led to the Brazilian setting up Sadio Mane’s opener.
It was that kind of creativity that beat Chelsea and Salah showed it all game.
No, Salah didn’t bag another hat trick. But he still showed he’s off to a flying start this season – and arguably in a more exciting way than if he’s grabbed a goal.
Salah wasn’t able to hit the back of the net so he switched gears and played a different kind of game. That’s a skill that very few players have, even at the elite level.
And if that’s the kind of season he’s having this year, then he could lead the Reds to success yet again.