Mohamed Salah focus as Egyptian makes the difference for Liverpool despite average display

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 01:36 02/06/2019
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Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Champions League final as the Reds claimed their sixth European trophy.

The Egyptian scored in the second minute after he converted a penalty following Moussa Sissoko’s handball. Divock Origi doubled their advantage on the 87th minute to confirm victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Here, we take a look at Salah’s performance.

KEY STATS

Goals: 1

Assists: 0

Shots (on target): 6 (1)

Passes (success-rate): 16 (44%)

Key-passes: 1

Dribbles: 0

Tackles: 0

Dispossessed: 0

30-SECOND REPORT

Having sustained a shoulder injury in the early stages of last season’s Champions League final, Salah was hungry to prove his mettle as a big-game player and lead Liverpool to their sixth Champions League crown.

With Spurs enjoying the bulk of possession, Salah’s role changed into a more defensive one early on following his penalty, as he helped restrict ball-playing from the back. From an offensive sense he was closely marked by Jan Vertonghen and was restricted from getting on the ball himself. Despite showing flashes, he didn’t get close to another magical moment after his penalty.

GOT RIGHT

Rose to the occasion: The pressure that accompanies a Champions League final – especially when you’re the talisman of the team – is truly immense. Salah had a few nervy moments while trying to pull the trigger, but he rose to the occasion when his team needed him to. Ultimately, the night will be remembered for the indelible impact he had on the game – a goal that set the tone for most of what was a dour contest.

Threat on the counter: With Spurs pushing for a goal, it was only a matter of time before Salah’s pace began to cause serious problems. Both Sadio Mane and Salah were dangerous on the counter but failed to threaten Hugo Lloris.

GOT WRONG

Shooting accuracy: It was one of those nights for Salah when the ball just wasn’t connecting right. He hit six shots, only one of which was on target. There were occasions where he could have done a lot better given his quality, but he failed to do so. To his credit, the Egyptian struck the goal that decided the fate of the game.

VERDICT

Clearly, it was not the best of nights for the former Roma man, but the Champions League medal on his mantlepiece will have you believe otherwise. Salah deserves the plaudits for his early goal and diligence in a thoroughly professional display.

RATING: 6/10

Stats from whoscored.com

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