40-goal Salah not done yet, says Klopp

The New Paper - - SPORTS -

With up to seven games left, Reds boss backs the Egyp­tian to add to his tally

Liver­pool man­ager Juer­gen Klopp be­lieves Mo­hamed Salah has not fin­ished in his ef­forts to re­write the club’s goalscor­ing record books af­ter the Egyp­tian in­ter­na­tional took his sea­son’s tally to 40 goals in a 3-0 English Premier League vic­tory over Bournemouth on Satur­day.

But the Ger­man also in­sists that Salah will not be dis­tracted by his quest for the Golden Boot award, as Liver­pool seek to end a mem­o­rable sea­son by win­ning the Cham­pi­ons League.

Salah, in his first sea­son at An­field, be­came the first Liver­pool player since Ian Rush in 1986-87 to reach the 40-goal mark and only the third from the club ever to reach that land­mark af­ter Rush and 1966 Eng­land World Cup win­ner Roger Hunt.

But Salah has reached his 40 quicker than ei­ther of them and, with up to seven games left for his team, may yet chal­lenge the all-time club record held by Rush, who scored 47 goals in a blis­ter­ing 1983-84 cam­paign.

“Re­ally it’s 31 years? He doesn’t look that old. He must have been 14 when he scored his 40 goals,” Klopp joked about Rush, when told Salah had be­come the first Liver­pool player since the Welsh­man to hit 40.

“But Mo knows what this means and the way we play suits him. For him, for the boys, it’s fan­tas­tic and to­day he cer­tainly didn’t look like he doesn’t want to score in the next few games.

CAN’T FORCE IT

“It’s all about him, all about us and how we fin­ish the sea­son. Nor­mally, in that sit­u­a­tion, to be top of the goalscor­ing list at the end and win the Golden Boot... means you have been suc­cess­ful as a team, but we can’t force it.

“But it’s good, im­pres­sive. What a num­ber. Wow!”

There was cer­tainly a “wow” fac­tor about the man­ner in which Salah claimed his 40th, and the 30th in the league this sea­son, af­ter 69 min­utes.

Trent Alexan­der-Arnold’s hang­ing cross into the Bournemouth area al­lowed Salah to peel away from his marker Nathan Ake and flick the most per­cep­tive of fin­ishes with his head over goal­keeper As­mir Be­govic.

Ei­ther side of Salah’s goal were ef­forts from Sa­dio Mane and Roberto Firmino, tak­ing their re­spec­tive Liver­pool tal­lies for the sea­son to 25 and 17, mean­ing the pro­lific front three have now com­bined for an as­ton­ish­ing 82 goals this sea­son.

Firmino’s 90th-minute third goal made it 300 for Liver­pool in well un­der three sea­sons since Klopp took over, but he in­sisted they can still im­prove in at­tack­ing ar­eas by not al­ways look­ing for Salah.

Said Klopp: “I have seen the boys look­ing for Mo, but we have to mix it up a lit­tle bit.

“He’s the threat, but it’s good to an­a­lyse it with the boys af­ter­wards... A lot of times we are in a shoot­ing po­si­tion and they can­not al­ways give the ball to him. We can... use his threat and pass the ball some­where else.” – AFP

PHOTO: AFP

Mo­hamed Salah has be­come the first Liver­pool player since Ian Rush in 1986/87 to reach the 40-goal mark.

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