Tag Archives: Mohamed Salah

Salah: Champions League final is not me against Ronaldo

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Mohamed Salah claims that the Champions League final against Real Madrid will be a showcase of Liverpool’s collective power and not a personal duel with Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Egypt international will finish his stunning debut season with the Reds with a first Champions League final appearance in Kiev on 26 May, when Jurgen Klopp’s side will seek to end Real’s recent dominance of the competition.

Liverpool reached the Champions League final for the first time since 2007, advancing 7-6 on aggregate despite losing a dramatic second leg to Roma.

On the other hand, Ukraine would be hosts to Ronaldo’s sixth Champions League final, with the tournament’s all-time leading scorer having won the trophy three times with Madrid and once with Manchester United.

Salah, with 43 goals this season, is seen as the biggest threat not only to Real in Kiev but to the dominance of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over the Ballon d’Or.

The Liverpool forward insists that he has his eyes on a bigger prize, however: the club’s sixth European Cup.

“I know all of the Arab people wish the best for me, and they are happy every time I win, but now at the moment I am only thinking about the final and to bring the trophy to Anfield,” Salah said after Liverpool’s semi-final over Roma.

“It is not going to be a final between Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo. I am playing for a great club and we have great players, so qualifying to the final came with great teamwork. I cannot do it alone — it is collective work. When we score a goal it’s because we are all doing good, when we concede it means we all need to work harder.”

Mohamed Salah shines with two goals and two assists against Roma

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A Mohamed Salah masterclass helped Liverpool take control of their Champions League semi-final — but two late Roma away goals gave the Italian giants a glimmer of hope for the second leg.

Liverpool repeatedly breached the visitors’ high defensive line and scored five times in the opening 68 minutes at a raucous Anfield.

Salah, 25, scored twice and assisted two other goals. He curled his first into the top corner from the edge of the box — and then clipped the ball over Alisson for a second.

The Egyptian International then ran down the right and squared for Sadio Mane to make it 3-0 — before doing the same to set up Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool then became only the second team to score five goals in a Champions League semi-final match when Firmino headed in James Milner’s corner.

With his side leading 5-0, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp took off Salah — and Roma gave themselves a chance for next week’s return leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

Edin Dzeko lashed home from Radja Nainggolan’s pass, before Diego Perotti put a penalty into the top right corner after Milner handled Nainggolan’s shot.

Roma need only look to the last round for inspiration — they lost the first leg in Barcelona 4-1 before winning 3-0 in Italy to progress on away goals.

A repeat of the latter scoreline this time would take them into the final against Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

Ronaldo scores brace in injury-time to lift Portugal over Egypt

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored two stoppage-time headers as Portugal rallied from behind to win 2-1 against Egypt, who had taken the lead though Mohamed Salah’s second-half strike, in a match billed as a stage for two of Europe’s current top strikers.

After a tame first half, Salah, who scored 28 Premier League goals this season so far, brought his superb domestic form to the international arena during a lively showing, and opened the scoring in the 56th minute with a sharp left-footed finish from the edge of the area.

Indeed, Egypt had looked superb and displayed defensive discipline under Argentine coach Hector Cuper as they looked primed to hold on for a famous victory until Ronaldo’s late intervention.

The Real Madrid star first met a Ricardo Quaresma cross in the 92nd minute to head home past the previously excellent Ahmed El-Shenawy, who fumbled the ball over his line.

Not content with that, he added a second just moments later when he rose again to divert a free kick from Quaresma into the far corner, and sealed the win.

The crowd, who were keen for a restart to equalize, were annoyed and jeered as there was initial confusion when the match referee consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) system for a possible offside before allowing Portugal’s second goal.

With the brace, Ronaldo moved into third place all-time with 81 international goals — past Japan’s Kunishige Kamamoto and behind only Iran’s Ali Daei (109) and Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas (84).

The former Manchester United star has also made it 43 goals in 40 appearances this season as Portugal laid down a marker before the World Cup, with 23 of those coming from his last 12 games.

Mohamed Salah could get better before end of season — Jurgen Klopp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that Mohamed Salah still has more to offer the team this season.

Salah, 25, scored 36 goals for Liverpool in all competitions this season, including four goals against Watford on Saturday as he leads the Premier League top scorer rankings with 28.

However, Jurgen Klopp still demands further improvement despite also admit that Salah’s talents as a striker are proving as revelatory to Klopp as to the man himself.

“He [Salah] played more on the wing for Roma, where he had a very dominant striker in Edin Dzeko,” Klopp said. “Nobody could know [that he could play as a striker]. We learned it step by step. We didn’t know exactly that he’s capable of playing in the centre.”

“But we will not treat him like: ‘You don’t have to train, Mo – just come on Saturday for the game and we’ll see you there at Anfield or whatever.’ He doesn’t want that. He’s in the moment of his career but he knows there is a lot for him to come. He wants to learn and he wants to improve.”

During the Watford game, Salah could be seen chasing back towards his own half — one of his few attempts at adding something defensively to Liverpool’s cause, but Klopp believes that others such as Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are also putting in a lot of effort so Salah can concentrate on the offensive.

“He does it. But sometimes he needs a little … [reminder],” Klopp said of Salah’s defensive skills. “A lot of my players need that. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s only a thing, it’s not exactly the same strength. If you talk about Roberto, he loves running in that direction and chasing the players. If I said to him ‘Stop it’, he couldn’t.”

“That’s why I took him off, because he will never rest. He runs all the time but then Mo didn’t stop as well tonight — in the other direction. He took each sprint like the 100-metre final in the Olympic Games. That’s what I mean: the team adapts to the strengths. Nobody is talking and saying, ‘Mo, but you have to …’ At the moment, nobody is saying anything to Salah other than “carry on”.