Fowler lauds Salah ahead of Champions League tie against City
Due to his injury, Mohamed Salah was not able to take part in the Merseyside derby which ended 0-0, while Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were on the bench. Sadio Mane was the only member of the attacking trio who took part in the game.
It was clear that German coach Jurgen Klopp wanted to rest his key players for the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Premier League leaders Manchester City which will take place on Tuesday at the Emirates Stadium.
“Jurgen Klopp will be seriously concerned by Liverpool’s lack of cutting-edge depth ahead of Tuesday’s season-defining clash with Manchester City,” Fowler wrote in a column for the Daily Mirror after the derby.
“Without Mo Salah or Roberto Firmino, Liverpool were nowhere near sharp enough in the final third of the pitch,” he explained. “In fact, they were about as sharp as a Primark suit. It is, though, understandable.”
The Premier League leaders will face an uphill task in the return leg as they need to earn a big victory over the Reds to secure a spot in the semi-final after Salah and his teammates were able to earn a stunning 3-0 victory in the first leg game.
“Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke have had hardly any game time this season, and have never really played together, certainly not in a game with this intensity.
“It was always going to be a big ask for them to reproduce Liverpool’s first-choice counter-attacking verve,” Fowler added.
The attacking trio Salah, Frimino and Mane collectively scored 77 goals with Liverpool in all competitions this season. Salah, who just joined the team last summer, is currently leading the golden boots race after netting 29 goals in the Premier League.
“Yet Klopp knows this lack of options is a real worry. All the top teams have strength in depth up front – I sometimes think Jose Mourinho at Manchester United is collecting forwards for his World Cup sticker album!
“Liverpool have a front three… and then nothing too obvious beyond that, with both Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge out on loan.”
Fowler thinks that if the Egyptian winger is fit, he will be an important weapon for Klopp in the quarter-final second leg. But if he is not, the former player thinks that Liverpool will struggle when it comes to finding pace.
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