Mohamed Salah reaches 50 PL goals for Liverpool, taking the record previously held by Fernando Torres
By Emma Sanders
The Egyptian’s decisive strike – running from his own half to score with 10 minutes left as Liverpool came from behind to win 3-1 at Southampton – was hugely important for the title race. It puts the Reds back above Manchester City, albeit having played one game more.
But the goal also had significance for another reason.
So where does Salah rank among the Reds’ greatest Premier League forwards?
BBC Sport takes a look at his statistics and why he is fast becoming one of Liverpool’s deadliest goalscorers.
Where Salah ranks among the very best
A return of 50 goals in 69 games means he is third on the all-time list, behind only the league’s overall top scorer Alan Shearer (who spent his Premier League career with Blackburn and Newcastle) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United).
The 26-year-old already holds the record for most goals (32) in a 38-game season, beating the likes of Shearer (Blackburn in 1995-96), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, 2007-08) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool, 2013-14).
Joining elite Anfield company
Salah is one of just eight Liverpool players who have reached a half-century of Premier League goals and by achieving the feat in 69 games has beaten Torres’ previous record of 72 matches.
Torres was one of the Reds’ most prolific scorers – netting 65 league goals in 102 appearances – and only Salah (44) has scored more in all competitions in his debut season than the Spaniard (33).
Salah’s record-breaking debut campaign was capped by the Premier League player of the year award – only Suarez and former England international Michael Owen had previously won it as Liverpool players.
He has gone on to pick up four Premier League player of the month awards, which only former captain Steven Gerrard (six) can better.
The Egyptian has been unable to surpass all-time leading Liverpool scorer Ian Rush’s record of 44 goals in a calendar year – though he equaled Roger Hunt and Robbie Fowler’s tally of 37 in 2018.
Mohamed Salah has reached 50 goals in three fewer matches than Fernando Torres, who held the previous Liverpool record
All good forwards are a threat in any position but Salah’s trademark is his runs in behind and he’s scored 47 of his 50 league goals from inside the box.
He also likes to cut in from the right wing and has scored 41 goals with his left foot.
Salah is at his most dangerous on the stroke of half-time – scoring 18% of his goals in the last five minutes of the opening half, including stoppage time.
His single goal in added time was a brilliant strike in the 91st minute of a 2-2 draw with Tottenham in February 2018.
Surprisingly, Salah hasn’t been as prolific against the bigger teams.
He has only scored once against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United in the league and scored one goal in a 1-1 Merseyside derby draw with Everton in December 2017.
Watford are Salah’s favorite opponents. He has scored six times against them – including a four-goal rout in a ruthless 5-0 victory in March last year, and one on his Reds debut at Vicarage Road in August 2017.
He is more likely to score in front of the home fans as he’s netted 29 of his goals in the Premier League at Anfield.
And if fellow forward Sadio Mane passes Salah the ball, there’s a good chance he will score then too, with the Senegal international providing the most assists (seven) out of all his Liverpool team-mates.
|Who has set up the most of Salah’s Premier League goals?|
|Liverpool team-mate||Number of assists|
‘Needs to show greater longevity’ – analysis
Chief football writer Phil McNulty:
Mohamed Salah’s 50 Premier League goals in 69 Liverpool games is an impressive achievement made even better when you consider his previous struggles at Chelsea.
Salah’s 44 goals in his first season at Anfield following his move from Roma eclipsed all expectations, probably even his own and those of Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.
And while he has arguably not quite touched those heights this season, the Egyptian is still on course for another outstanding total as Liverpool chase their first title in 29 years.
He has shown great consistency and is a huge weapon but he still needs to show greater longevity before he can be ranked among Anfield’s great goalscorers.
This is not to say he will not go to that level given a fair run, but as yet he does not bear comparison with the likes of Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen in that regard – and certainly nowhere near the great Ian Rush, whose record-breaking career straddled the pre- and post-Premier League era and spearheaded domestic and European glory.
That trio – and those with longer memories will also quote Roger Hunt – played their part in helping Liverpool win trophies.
That is something Salah has yet to achieve – although he will hope to correct that this season.
Salah’s most memorable goals
His goal against Southampton may go on to prove one of his most crucial for the club – and it was certainly a breathtaking moment.
Here are some of the other goals that have defined Salah’s Anfield career so far.
August 2017: Watford 3-3 Liverpool – Salah scores on his debut
December 2017: Liverpool 1-1 Everton – Salah’s only Merseyside derby goal so far
March 2018: Liverpool 5-0 Watford – Salah becomes the first Egyptian to score a hat-trick in the Premier League
December 2018: Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool – Salah’s hat-trick sends Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table
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