Danny Murphy talks about Salah’s importance for Liverpool’s title race
Liverpool have beaten Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday afternoon to return on top of the league table with 85 points, two ahead of Manchester City who still have one game in hand.
During the game Egypt international Mohamed Salah scored a sensational goal from 25 yards out to secure the win for his side.
Despite his decent performances throughout the season the former Roma man has endured a lot of criticism, as many believe he hasn’t been performing as well as the previous season.
However former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes that the Egyptian has been subject of unfair criticism and confirmed that he has been crucial for his team.
“He has played nearly every game this season and has actually made a massive contribution to getting Liverpool where they are, even though his goals tally is down from last year,” Murphy told BBC Sports.
“Because he has not been as prolific, he has taken some unfair criticism but, whenever I watch him play, he still has that same hunger and sharpness. He still occupies opposition players and puts himself in wonderful positions.
“I like his humility when I hear him talking about how important it is that the team wins games and trophies, rather than any success being all about him.
“I think that says a lot about him, and that’s why I was pleased to see him score on Sunday, especially with such a wonderful strike.
“Even before his goal, his performance against Chelsea was as good as I’ve seen from him – right from the start, with his touch and his appetite.
“His goal was sensational though, and of course that rounded it off because it was always going to create more emphasis on his performance, but even if he had not scored then I would be praising him.
“Because what Salah did last year was so remarkable, there was a kind of inevitability that people would question him if he did not repeat it,” he added.
This marked the 26-year-old’s 19th goal in the Premier League this season, putting on top of the Premier League’s goalscoring charts alongside Man City’s Sergio Aguero
“I don’t see how anyone can say he is having a poor season, because he is joint-top Premier League scorer with City’s Sergio Aguero. The fact he has a very good chance of winning the Golden Boot again says it all.
“Defenders know him, and what he wants to do, better this season but they still can’t stop him,”
Murphy then argued that defenders are now paying more attention on the Egyptian, which allowed his teammates to score more goals.
“Teams have actually set up to deal with him, but that just means other players like Sadio Mane, have been given more freedom to contribute more than they have done before.
“All of that is positive, because it is important that you are not reliant on one player too much, but Salah’s goal on Sunday was a reminder of how good he is.
“He is a big-game player, a world-class talent who will score more big goals between now and the end of the season in the Premier League and in Europe.”
“All goals are important, but Salah’s strike on Sunday took the roof off Anfield.
In spite of the win Murphy believes that Liverpool still have a long way to go until they secure the title.
“Liverpool have scored a lot of important goals in recent weeks – some fortunate – but that one was so good it made the fans believe they would win that game. They kind of saw it out together, the players and the crowd.
“Whether it is a wonder goal, deflected goal or goalkeeper error that gets you the points, nobody really cares once the game is won, but of course a strike like that is going to give everyone a lift when the title is on the line.
“I don’t think Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, his players or the fans will be getting carried away, though. It was a great performance capped off by an unbelievable goal but their situation has not changed – City have still got to slip up somewhere,” he concluded.
Liverpool will now shift their focus to the UEFA Champions League as they will travel to Portugal to face Porto in the return-leg of the quarter-finals.
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