Liverpool had a good time on Tuesday in their Champions League game against Genk. The game ended in 1-4 in favor of Liverpool who was away in Belgium but through it, only one person didn’t have fun till late in the game.
Mohamed Salah was just getting back from injury and that reflected on his game play against the Belgian side on Tuesday night. It was a nightmare watching him try to get himself together well into the final 20 minutes of the game when he scored a goal for his team.
Whatever Salah was trying was not working out for him. His passes were mostly inaccurate. He was continuously dispossessed and boxed into a corner. It was sad seeing how he kept choosing the wrong options for passes and anyone who hasn’t seen him play before that day would have mistaken him for a schoolboy in middle grade trying to learn how to kick the ball.
His performance was such that anyone would have asked ‘what is Salah doing?’. In the second half of the game, while attempting to release Sadio Mane on a counter, he only succeeded in stroking the ball straight at Genk’s goalkeeper, Gaetan Couke.
That was how poor his performance was.
Why Klopp keeps his faith in him
It would be unfair to not acknowledge the greatness that Mo Salah is simply because of bad form caused by injury. No doubts, he is an amazing forward, one of the best in the world right now and that is enough for any coach to put his faith in.
Mo Salah went ahead to prove this in the late minutes of the match when he later clicked. His first assist came in the 77th minute when he made a pass through for Mane, letting the Senegalese clip home Liverpool’s third goal of the night.
Then ten minutes later, Mane returned the favor. In a trademark Salah strike, he had twisted away from the close attention of several defenders, turning into a shooting position and then putting in an expert finishing into the bottom corner of the opponents’ net.
If not for anything at all, it was a sign that even with Salah still dealing with the after effect of the ankle injury that made him miss Liverpool’s last Sunday clash against Manchester United, the Egyptian forward is trying hard to find his feet again.
There have been several assumptions that Salah might change role at Liverpool and while most of them had been based on disappointing form, his stat suggests otherwise. The Egyptian has seven goals and four assists in 13 appearances.
The thing is, Salah isn’t stopping. He is currently on 19 goals in the Champions League for Liverpool, second only to Steven Gerrard’s tally of 30.
His effectiveness in the closing stages, with opposing legs starting to tire, highlights why Klopp is so reluctant to substitute the Egyptian.
It’s okay for any manager to keep his faith in Mohamed Salah because he has rose in ranks to be one of Liverpool’s top marksman. Even without him scoring, his impact on the pitch is always incredible and one cannot simply write that off because he is still trying to bounce back from injury.