Klopp Sympathetic Over ‘Social Pressure’ On Salah

Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium in Shrewsbury, north-west of Birmingham in England on January 26, 2020.
Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp insisted his players have been “incredibly disciplined” with coronavirus restrictions despite Mohamed Salah testing positive after attending his brother’s wedding in Egypt.

Salah was pictured dancing at the celebration without a mask on while back in his homeland during the international break.

Klopp confirmed Liverpool’s top scorer this season is asymptomatic and could return to England on Friday, but Salah will miss Sunday’s Premier League clash against Leicester.

“He is probably back today, that’s what I’ve heard. We are in close contact with him all of the time,” said Klopp. “At the moment he is in a good place, he feels well, no symptoms, that’s all fine.”

Klopp said he had to resist the temptation to attend a birthday party when home in Germany over the summer and understands why Salah had to attend the wedding.

“In other countries, in other situations, there is more social pressure on you and a brother’s wedding is a very special moment,” he added.

“What I can say about my players is they are incredibly disciplined. Football players in general were incredibly disciplined.

“There were some cases of course, but they really know about the situation.”

 

(FILES) Salah has tested positive for Covid-19 but without suffering any symptoms, the Egyptian Football Association announced on November 13, 2020. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

 

Salah’s absence is just the latest blow for Klopp as he tries to patch together a team to face top-of-the-table Leicester.

Liverpool’s defence has been decimated by injury with centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez expected to miss the rest of the season with serious knee injuries.

Trent Alexander-Arnold will be out for another two weeks due to a calf problem, while captain Jordan Henderson will also miss Sunday’s clash due to a muscle problem.

“There is no season when you have no problem with injuries,” said Klopp. “In our situation it is slightly different where a lot of players in the same position get injured and seriously injured, that makes it tricky, but no one feels any kind of self-pity or feels sorry for ourselves.

“As long as we have 11 players available we will fight for the three points and we will.

“We have the situation we have. We don’t like it because it’s really hard for the boys that have the injuries but the rest is about working on solutions.

“Whoever deals best with the problems in front of them has the chance to be really successful.”

Champions League: Salah, Jota Score As Liverpool Edge Past Midtjylland

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah scores their second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions league Group D football match between Liverpool and Midtjylland at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 27, 2020.  AFP

 

Lacklustre Liverpool beat Midtjylland 2-0 on Tuesday to make it two wins out of two in the Champions League but their defensive problems mounted as Fabinho limped off injured.

The Premier League champions were toothless in the first half but finally clicked 10 minutes after the break when the impressive Trent Alexander-Arnold set up Diogo Jota for a tap-in.

A late penalty scored by substitute Mohamed Salah gave the scoreline unwarranted gloss.

The manager left his first-choice attack of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on the bench against the Danes, giving his second string a chance to shine.

But Liverpool, lacking urgency and fluency at an empty Anfield, struggled to break down the hard-working visitors, who lost their Champions League opener to Atalanta 4-0.

The opening could have been worse for Klopp’s men.

Midtjylland had a chance to take a shock lead in the opening minutes when a long clip down the middle sent Anders Dreyer in on goal and Alisson Becker had to make a smart save.

Liverpool, who beat Ajax away in their Champions League opener, hogged possession but struggled to create clear chances in the early stages.

Most of what little threat there was in the first half came from full-back Alexander-Arnold, who produced a cross which Takumi Minamino failed to connect with.

Alexander-Arnold then danced through the Midtjylland defence midway through the opening period but failed to find the Japan international.

But Klopp’s problems became a lot more serious just before the half-hour, when Fabinho, filling in alongside Joe Gomez in central defence, limped off with an apparent hamstring injury.

Klopp is already coming to terms with the absence of central defensive lynchpin Virgil van Dijk, who could be out for the whole season.

As half-time approached, Alexander-Arnold drilled another cross to Minamo, who headed wide.

But Liverpool failed to register a single first-half shot on target for the first time in 51 home games in all competitions, since October 2018.

Gini Wijnaldum replaced captain Jordan Henderson at half-time and after a few minutes Klopp ordered Salah and Mane to warm up on the sidelines.

The breakthrough finally came when Alexander-Arnold received the ball on the right and exchanged passes with Xherdan Shaqiri before crossing for Jota to finish from close range.

It was Liverpool’s 10,000th goal in all competitions, 128 years after their first, netted by Jock Smith in September 1892.

Salah and Mane came on just after the hour mark for Minamino and the disappointing Divock Origi but Liverpool still struggled for rhythm.

Firmino missed a clear chance for Liverpool in the closing minutes after yet more good work from Alexander-Arnold.

They almost paid the price immediately but Dreyer could only find the side-netting after drifting past Gomez.

Liverpool escaped and Salah won the penalty which he converted.

AFP

Golden Boot: Salah, Vardy, Aubameyang In Hot Race For Topscorer

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates after he scores his team's fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 1, 2020. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates after he scores his team’s fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 1, 2020.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

 

While the Premier League title has already been won by Liverpool in record time, the battle to finish as the top-flight’s leading scorer is set to go down to the wire.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah could add the Golden Boot to his Premier League winners’ medal, but he has work to do to catch Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, who sits top of the goal charts with four games left.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also in contention to get his hands on the prize after sharing it with Salah and Sadio Mane last season when the trio each scored 22 goals.

Southampton’s Danny Ings is the dark horse after an unexpectedly prolific campaign.

Jamie Vardy

With 22 league goals to his credit so far this term, Vardy is in pole position to take the prize, especially after rediscovering his peak form over the last week.

Vardy failed to score in Leicester’s first four games after the coronavirus hiatus, but the 33-year-old netted twice against Crystal Palace to pass 100 Premier League goals and struck again at Arsenal.

“He’s a legend here for the rest of his time at the club, it’s just what he adds to that status over the rest of his career,” Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said after Vardy became the 29th player to join the Premier League 100-goal club.

Winning the Golden Boot would be another landmark moment for Vardy, who has defied the odds throughout his remarkable rise from non-league journeyman to Premier League champion four years ago.

Vardy’s next opportunity to increase his grip on top spot comes against lowly Bournemouth on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The Arsenal forward has scored three times in his last three appearances to move into second place in the goal race.

Aubameyang has netted 20 times this season, his prolific form increased Arsenal’s desire to get the Gabon international to extend a contract that expires at the end of next season.

The 31-year-old is yet to agree a new deal amid reported interest from Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain.

His value to Arsenal comes not just in his goals but in his ability to play wide on the left as well as up front.

Sunday’s north London derby at Tottenham and a home game against Liverpool in their following game give Aubameyang a chance to put pressure on Vardy when the spotlight is brightest.

Mohamed Salah

Having won the Golden Boot in 2018 and finished in joint first place last year, the Liverpool forward needs a late goal spree to make it three successive seasons on top of the leaderboard.

Salah’s brace in a 3-1 win at Brighton on Wednesday took him to 19 goals and, with Liverpool chasing a new Premier League points record, the Egyptian is likely to remain in the team even with the title won.

With nine assists this season, compared to four for Vardy, two for Aubameyang and two for Ings, the 28-year-old all round value to Liverpool is arguably higher than any of his Golden Boot rivals.

Next up for Liverpool is Saturday’s clash with Burnley followed by games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle to round off a memorable campaign that could finish on a high for Salah on a personal note as well.

Danny Ings

The Southampton striker bagged his 19th goal of the season in Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Everton.

After a blistering run during the winter, the goals had dried up a little for Ings, but the 27-year-old has been back in predatory form since the restart.

Ahead of Monday’s trip to Manchester United, Ings’ four goals in his last five matches have underlined the former Liverpool forward’s case for a possible England call-up when international football resumes.

First, Ings will focus on becoming the first Golden Boot winner to play for a club outside the Premier League’s ‘big six’ since Sunderland’s Kevin Phillips in 1999-2000.

 

 

-AFP

No ‘Softening’ From Liverpool As Salah Keeps Record Chase On Track

Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium in Shrewsbury, north-west of Birmingham in England on January 26, 2020.
Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

 

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool’s desire not to ease up after clinching the Premier League title as two goals from Mohamed Salah kept the Reds on course for a record points tally with a 3-1 win at Brighton on Wednesday.

The champions move onto 92 points with three wins from their final four games enough to break Manchester City’s record of 100 points from two seasons ago.

“We are champions and it could be softening but it is not – the boys go with everything,” said Klopp.

“We now have 92 points and last season we had 97! We got five points more than this last season – that’s unbelievable, I have no idea how we did that.”

Klopp’s men were quick off the mark with two goals in the first eight minutes to end a run of five games without a goal away from home either side of the coronavirus shutdown.

Brighton’s desire to play out from the back has been one of the hallmarks of Graham Potter’s first season in charge and the Seagulls look certain to meet their target of staying in the division with a nine-point cushion over the bottom three.

But the hosts were twice caught out by Liverpool’s press to leave themselves too much to do despite another promising performance.

“I saw two very good football teams tonight, both trying to play football,” added Klopp. “They had a brave formation and set up but we had a super solution for that. Our high press was outstanding.”

Salah remained in the hunt for a third Golden Boot in as many seasons as a Liverpool player as he slotted home Naby Keita’s cross to open the scoring.

Two minutes later the Reds robbed possession again in the Brighton half and after Salah was held up, Jordan Henderson curled home a brilliant shot into the far corner for a rare goal in an inspirational season for the Liverpool captain.

However, Henderson later limped off with a knee injury that Klopp is concerned could end his season.

“We have to make scans but we know it is not nothing, so that is already enough,” said Klopp.

Rather than letting the floodgates open, Brighton showed impressive resolve to then take the game to their illustrious visitors.

Neco Williams made a brilliant block on his first Premier League start to deny Leandro Trossard a quick reply before Alisson Becker saved from Neal Maupay.

Brighton got their reward just before half-time when Trossard connected sweetly with Tariq Lamptey’s cross to halve the deficit.

“I asked them to play that way. The decision making could be better but they showed personality to claw back into the game,” said Potter. “We tried to play, we went toe-to-toe and there were lots of positive performances for us.”

Dan Burn wasted a huge opportunity to bring the hosts level after the break as he failed to hit the target with the goal gaping.

Salah was more clinical when he headed home Andy Robertson’s corner at the near post for his 19th Premier League goal of the season to move within three of Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.

But the Egyptian then missed two big chances in stoppage time for his third Liverpool hat-trick and to further cut Vardy’s lead at the top of the scoring charts as Mat Ryan flicked his first effort over the bar before Salah headed over with the final touch of the game.

Salah Keeps Liverpool’s Record Chase On Track

A NHS badge is dislayed on the shirt of Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on July 8, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP)
A NHS badge is dislayed on the shirt of Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on July 8, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Liverpool remained on course for a Premier League record points tally thanks to two goals from Mohamed Salah to win 3-1 at Brighton on Wednesday.

The English champions move onto 92 points with three wins from their final four games enough to break Manchester City’s record of 100 points from two seasons ago.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were quick off the mark with two goals in the first eight minutes to end a run of five games without a goal away from home either side of the coronavirus shutdown.

Brighton’s desire to play out from the back has been one of the hallmarks of Graham Potter’s first season in charge and the Seagulls look certain to meet their target of staying in the division with a nine-point cushion over the bottom three.

But the hosts were twice caught out by Liverpool’s press to leave themselves too much to do despite another promising performance.

Salah remained in the hunt for a third Golden Boot in as many seasons as a Liverpool player as he slotted home Naby Keita’s cross to open the scoring.

Two minutes later the Reds robbed possession again in the Brighton half and after Salah was held up, Henderson curled home a brilliant shot into the far corner for a rare goal in an inspirational season for the Liverpool captain.

Rather than letting the floodgates open, Brighton showed impressive resolve to then take the game to their illustrious visitors.

Neco Williams made a brilliant block on his first Premier League start to deny Leandro Trossard a quick reply before Alisson Becker saved from Neal Maupay.

Brighton got their reward just before half-time when Trossard connected sweetly with Tariq Lamptey’s cross to halve the deficit.

Dan Burn wasted a huge opportunity to bring the hosts level after the break as he failed to hit the target with the goal gaping.

Salah was more clinical when he headed home Andy Robertson’s cross at the near post for his 19th Premier League goal of the season to move within three of Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.

But the Egyptian then missed two big chances in stoppage time for his third Liverpool hat-trick and to further cut Vardy’s lead at the top of the scoring charts as Mat Ryan flicked his first effort over the bar before Salah headed over with the final touch of the game.

 

 

AFP

Liverpool Bounce Back To Beat Bournemouth

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (L) celebrates with Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (R) and Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Bournemouth at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on March 7, 2020.
GEOFF CADDICK / AFP

 

Liverpool recovered from back-to-back defeats and conceding the opening goal on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Bournemouth to move to within three wins of ending a 30-year wait for the Premier League title.

Callum Wilson’s controversial early opener sent shockwaves around Anfield after a run of three defeats in four games in all competitions.

However, the prolific duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane quickly turned the game around and a heroic goal-line clearance from James Milner in the second half secured the win to open a 25-point lead at the top of the table.

Jurgen Klopp’s decision to make seven changes for Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in the FA Cup had been questioned as Liverpool lost the chance to build some momentum heading into a big week.

READ ALSO: Esperance Fail To Win Third Consecutive CAF Champions League Title

Atletico Madrid visit fortress Anfield in the Champions League on Tuesday hoping to defend a 1-0 first-leg lead and despite the enormity of that clash, Klopp only rested Andy Robertson although first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker was also sidelined by a hip injury.

The spread of coronavirus could have a big impact on the Reds’ title celebrations in the weeks to come with the possibility of games being played behind closed doors. But the abandonment of the normal pre-match ritual of handshakes was the only disruption to the Premier League calendar this weekend.

Liverpool’s dip in form has coincided with a lack of clean sheets for Klopp’s men after a run of 10 in 11 league games between early December and mid-February.

The hosts’ backline was breached again after just nine minutes, although Klopp was rightly furious that VAR did not intervene to disallow the goal.

Joe Gomez was knocked off balance by Wilson to start the move and the Bournemouth striker then had the simple task of tapping home Jefferson Lerma’s cross.

The defeat leaves the Cherries still in the bottom three. They were left to rue not making even more of a bright start as stand-in goalkeeper Adrian turned over Nathan Ake’s powerful header.

Bournemouth played a large part in their own downfall and settled Liverpool’s nerves when substitute Jack Simpson gifted possession to Mane in a dangerous position. Despite a poor pass from the Senegalese, Salah steered the ball into the bottom corner to mark his 100th Premier League appearance for the club in style.

Eight minutes later, Liverpool led when Bournemouth again gave the ball away cheaply. Virgil van Dijk released Mane in behind and he kept his cool to slot into the far corner.

The champions-elect still needed a brilliant clearance from Milner to secure all three points as he sprinted back to clear Ryan Fraser’s lob over the stranded Adrian on the hour.

Wilson and Ake also passed up a huge chance to level in the final minute.

However, Liverpool could easily have had more goals. Mane curled a brilliant long-range effort off the bar and Roberto Firmino fired over with a glorious chance for his first league goal at Anfield this season.

AFP

Salah Double-Fires Liverpool Into Premier League Victory

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 14, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Liverpool moved 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to Mohamed Salah’s double, but had some wasteful finishing from bottom-of-the-table Watford to thank for a 2-0 victory at Anfield.

The Hornets remain six points adrift of safety, but will wonder how they headed home empty handed after enjoying the vast majority of the chances against the European champions.

Salah produced the two moments of real quality for Jurgen Klopp’s men by finishing off from a rapid counter-attack from a Watford corner to open the scoring before flicking home a second a minute from time.

Nigel Pearson was taking charge of Watford for the first time and the impetus of a new manager showed with the 40-point difference between the sides at opposite ends of the table not in evidence in their performances.

However, the big difference was obvious in both boxes as the league’s lowest scorers passed up a host of huge opportunities, whilst Salah was deadly.

Only Watford’s profligacy allowed Liverpool to keep a first clean sheet at Anfield all season as Troy Deeney just failed to reach a teasing cross across the face of goal before Will Hughes dragged a shot just side.

Abdoulaye Doucoure then completely miscued with the goal at his mercy from Etienne Capoue’s clever cut-back with what incredibly was only the second most embarrassing mishit of the half from Watford.

After so many missed chances, the visitors were made to pay by the ruthless runaway leaders as 15 seconds after a Watford corner, the ball was in their net.

All three of Liverpool’s attacking trident were involved as Roberto Firmino’s pass over his head freed Sadio Mane down the left and he fed Salah to cut inside on his weaker right foot to bend the ball brilliantly into the far corner.

Watford should still have been level before the break when Ismaila Sarr somehow also failed to connect with Alisson Becker grounded after parrying Gerard Deulofeu’s cross.

Sarr was wasteful again at the start to the second half as he blasted straight at Alisson with Deeney pleading for a cross.

Liverpool’s extra quality in the final third was in evidence once more when Mane headed in from Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross, but the Senegalese’s celebrations were cut short when the goal was ruled out by a VAR for the most marginal of offside calls.

That handed Pearson’s men a lifeline, but again they failed to take their chance to capitalise when Deulofeu broke clean through on goal only for Alisson to save once more.

This was Liverpool’s seventh game in a run of 15 matches in 50 days across five competitions and the strain on Jurgen Klopp’s squad was not only shown in a jaded display but another injury blow.

Georginio Wijnaldum limped off on the hour mark and could now be a doubt for the Reds’ attempt to win the Club World Cup in Qatar later this week.

However, Liverpool will travel to the Middle East in buoyant mood even if Leicester manage to cut their double-digit lead back to eight points when the Foxes host Norwich later on Saturday.

Salah made sure of the points late on with an imaginative finish to turn home Divock Origi’s mishit shot.

AFP

Salah’s Ankle Nothing To Worry About, Says Klopp

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah is seen to by a medic during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 27, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp moved to allay fears over Mohamed Salah’s left ankle problem saying his departure five minutes before the end of Premier League leaders Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur was a precautionary measure.

The 27-year-old Egyptian star — who had missed the previous match with Manchester United due to the injury — scored the decisive goal to bring up his half century of goals at Anfield.

Salah, who reached the landmark in 58 matches with only Roger Hunt getting there faster, has a few days to rest up before Saturday’s away game at Aston Villa as he was highly unlikely to feature in Wednesday’s League Cup clash with Arsenal.

“It’s the ankle, the ankle he has struggled with since the Leicester game,” said Klopp.

“It’s good but the longer the game goes the muscles get a bit tired, stuff like this, (and) if you get a knock on it then you feel it more.

“It makes no sense to try to push it through because we had other players, still options to change, and that’s what we did. No, nothing serious.”

Klopp, whose side maintained their six point lead over champions Manchester City, said conceding an early goal to the team they beat in last season’s Champions League final had helped concentrate their minds.

The charismatic German — who took Liverpool agonisingly close to their first Premier league title last term only to lose out to City by a point — was delighted in the manner in which his players had responded.

“I am absolutely pleased, but to be honest, I expect it as well,” added Klopp.

“An early goal is obviously not the best thing that can happen, but sometimes it makes one thing clear: game on.

“The counter-press was exceptional, it was kind of back. I loved that, that was really good.

“I told the boys at half-time; ‘The only problem in this game so far is the result — apart from that, it’s good’.”

AFP

Salah Back In Liverpool Line-Up For Genk Tie

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions league Group E football match between Liverpool and Salzburg at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 2, 2019./AFP

 

Mohamed Salah returns to the Liverpool line-up for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Genk in Belgium after missing the weekend draw with Manchester United due to injury.

The Egyptian sat out the Premier League match at Old Trafford, which finished 1-1, because of an ankle problem.

He teams up with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the Liverpool attack in Genk, but Jurgen Klopp’s side are missing key players elsewhere.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold ill, captain James Milner fills in at right-back, while Dejan Lovren plays alongside Virgil van Dijk in central defence as Joel Matip is sidelined.

There are also rare starts in midfield for Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Liverpool are currently on three points in Group E, one point behind leaders Napoli after two outings. Genk, the Belgian champions, are bottom of the section with just one point but held Napoli at home in their last European outing.

AFP

FIFA Awards: Salah, Egypt FA Fall Out Again

 

Egypt’s football association has asked FIFA for clarification after its vote for national icon Mohamed Salah was dropped from the final tally for the world’s best player award.

The results are based on the votes of national coaches, team captains and members of the press in selecting their top three players of the year.

When FIFA released its results, Egypt was curiously absent from the final vote count.

In comments online blame was aimed at Egypt’s football federation for failing to ensure Salah would be given the maximum chance in all votes, although he eventually finished fourth, 20 votes behind winner Lionel Messi.

Salah hinted at his disappointment through his social media activity, changing his Twitter bio to say he only plays for Liverpool and removing any mention of his affiliation to Egypt.

To add insult to injury, Hany Daniel, the Egyptian journalist in the voting, picked Senegalese forward Sadio Mane, Salah’s Liverpool team-mate, ahead of the Egyptian striker who he relegated to third place behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi won with 46 votes while Salah scored only 26 in fourth.

Salah posted a conciliatory tweet after saying “no matter how much they try to change my love for you and your people”, referring to Egypt, “they won’t be able to”.

Hours after the controversy, the Egyptian Football Association said it had asked FIFA for an explanation about why its vote “was not approved”.

The statement released late Tuesday said the association had sent its votes officially to FIFA on August 15 and they were registered on August 19.

“National team captain Ahmed al-Mohamedi voted while the Olympic team’s manager Shawki Ghareeb voted after the resignation of the coaching staff,” it added.

Egypt’s coach Javier Aguirre and the entire board of the association resigned after the country’s abysmal showing in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations that it hosted.

The Pharoahs were knocked out in the second round by South Africa after being dogged by a lack of preparation and a sexual harassment scandal involving player Amr Warda.

Salah and the EFA have butted heads before several times, most prominently when a photo of him was plastered on the squad’s plane ahead of the 2018 World Cup, causing sponsorship problems for the star.

The EFA has been beset with governance issues and was vehemently pilloried by fans for Egypt’s early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

It was most recently headed by Hani Abou Rida, a powerful FIFA Council member, who was investigated for a massive corruption case that embroiled senior FIFA officials in 2015.

AFP

Mane, Salah Hand Liverpool 3-1 Victory Over Newcastle

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane celebrates after he scores the team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Newcastle at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 14, 2019.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah ensured Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season by coming from behind to beat Newcastle 3-1 at Anfield on Saturday.

The European champions have a history of starting slowly in early kick-offs under Jurgen Klopp and only arose from their slumber after the Magpies took a shock lead through Jetro Willems on seven minutes.

Mane turned the tide before half-time with a sumptuous finish into the top corner before profiting from an error by Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka for his second.

READ ALSO: Benzema Hands Madrid Win Against Levante

Dubravka redeemed himself after the break with a string of fine saves to keep the final score down but was helpless when Salah finished coolly from Roberto Firmino’s cute backheel.

Klopp’s men open up a five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table, but the champions can cut that gap back to two with victory at Norwich later on Saturday.

Newcastle sprung a huge surprise by claiming their only win of the season so far at Tottenham three weeks ago. They followed the same script as they frustrated the hosts in the early stages before stunning Anfield by going in front.

Willems turned inside Trent Alexander-Arnold before drilling a fierce shot past the helpless Adrian.

Liverpool trailed at home for the first time since March but quickly rallied to record a 14th straight Premier League victory.

Mane was furious with Salah after being substituted in a 3-0 win away to Burnley before the international break, accusing the Egyptian of being too greedy in his eye for goal.

But it is the Senegalese who has more goals so far this season and he arrowed into the far corner from Andy Robertson’s pass to get Liverpool back on level terms.

Firmino had been rested from the start after his travels to the United States with Brazil during the international break, but he was soon called into the action as Divock Origi limped off injured.

And Firmino made an instant impact as his pass towards Mane was spilled by Dubravka for the Liverpool number 10 to roll into an empty net.

Liverpool had only one scare once they were in front as Emil Krafth blasted over a great chance to bring Newcastle level again at the back post.

However, it was only a matter of time before the Reds made the game safe as Dubravka saved brilliantly from Robertson and twice denied the excellent Firmino, who was named man-of-the-match despite only coming on eight minutes before half-time.

The Brazilian bagged another assist when his flick freed Salah, who took his time before leaving Dubravka grounded and placing the ball into the far corner.

Mane was denied his hat-trick and Firmino a triple of assists by the offside flag, but Liverpool cruised through the final stages with one eye already on the start of their defence of the Champions League away to Napoli on Tuesday.

AFP

African Trio Share Premier League Golden Boot

 

The race to be crowned the English Premier League’s leading scorer this season ended in a three-way tie on Sunday as the African trio of Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mohamed Salah shared the Golden Boot.

Gabon forward Aubameyang scored twice for Arsenal at Burnley to join Salah and his Liverpool teammate Mane, who netted a final-day double against Wolves, on 22 goals for the Premier League season.

Sergio Aguero, of champions Manchester City, was next in line with 21 goals.

Salah has now won the award two seasons in a row but this term’s winning tally was the lowest by players in English football’s top-flight since 2010/11 when Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez shared the Golden Boot with 20 goals apiece.

Aubameyang was delighted to be a member of an all-African trio of winners, saying in quotes reported by the BBC: “I share this trophy with two other guys I like, great players and African. We are representing Africa, that’s cool.

READ ALSO: Liverpool Chase Euro Dreams After Losing League Title To City

“I am happy we won, and I am sharing this trophy with two other guys I like.

“My teammates knew about the Golden Boot, I said nothing. I did not want them to play and only focus on me. I am a team player.”

For Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp there was the satisfaction of knowing he had a played a part in the careers of all three of this season’s Golden Boot winners, having signed Aubameyang from Saint-Etienne in 2013 when he was in charge of Dortmund.

“Auba too? Do they have three boots?” said Klopp, who suffered the last-day heartache of seeing Liverpool finish just one point behind City.

“It is good. They are all my players,” the German added.

Salah scored 32 league goals last season, a record for a 38-game Premier League campaign.

The 26-year-old is the sixth player to win the Golden Boot award in consecutive seasons.

AFP