Mohamed Salah is showing a wonderful trait just four games into the Premier League season. It can help carry Liverpool this season.
Liverpool haven’t been stellar to start the Premier League season – even before the 7-2 defeat against Aston Villa. They leaked goals against Leeds United in the season opener, only finished Chelsea off when they had 10 men, and had a couple of shaky moments against Arsenal.
It’s slightly concerning, even if there have certainly been positive moments and games. But this isn’t the same Liverpool as last season, the one who ruthlessly put teams to the sword and looked airtight in defence.
They’ve now conceded 12 Premier League goals this season in just four games. It took them 14 games to reach that point in their title-winning campaign.
But while the team might not look flawless, Mohamed Salah appears prepared to pick up the slack.
There are two standout games this season where Liverpool haven’t played well. Firstly, the opener against Leeds and, of course, the game away at Villa.
The Reds leaked goals and struggled to control the game. Ten goals conceded across the two games tells the story, in truth.
But there’s another theme in each game – Salah excelled. The Egyptian bagged a hat-trick against Leeds and a brace against Villa. He looked absolutely lethal both times.
His stats (per Whoscored) in that Leeds game are remarkable. Salah attempted nine shots (next highest was 5), he made four key passes (joint-most), he attempted 14 dribbles (next highest was 6), and he made two tackles (3rd best for Liverpool).
In short, he stepped up to do pretty much everything as Liverpool struggled. Even outside the hat-trick, he was truly fantastic. Salah carried Liverpool through that game to victory. Without him, they’d have suffered a troubling defeat.
And against Villa, where Liverpool were utterly horrendous for 90 minutes, Salah shone. He scored twice from two shots. He had the second-most key passes of anyone in the game. Once again, when Liverpool couldn’t play well, Salah stood up to do what he could.
Only a woeful defensive performance stopped him from rescuing points again.
And in games where Liverpool played well – Chelsea and Arsenal – Salah took a backseat. But he still found a way to shine. Against Chelsea, the Egyptian created five chances. The rest of the team combined only managed seven. He managed more than twice as many as the Chelsea team.
Again, Salah was quiet as the Reds beat Arsenal 3-1 but he still created two chances.
Salah seems to be stepping up whenever Liverpool need him. That’s a fantastic trait and from a player of his quality, one that will carry them through difficult games.
All they need now is to fix the defence, rather than asking Salah to score eight.