Salah urges Liverpool to be ruthless
Salah urges Liverpool to be ruthless
Salah and striker Roberto Firmino grabbed a brace each as Liverpool thrashed Maribor 7-0 on Tuesday night to record their biggest away European win, and the biggest away win in Europe by any English club.
The victory has given Liverpool, who have only managed one win in their past five league games, the boost they needed.
And Salah urged his fellow Reds to take the sharpshooting they showed against the hapless Slovenian outfit into their Premier League matches.
“I think it’s an important result for us so we have to keep looking forward and we have to win the next games,” the Egyptian ace told Reuters.
“In the last three or four games we missed many chances and we had bad luck.
“I think that everyone has confidence that the good result is coming, so now we are in a good position and I’m sure in the next games it will be the same.”
As Salah said, Liverpool have an abundance of talent in attack, but at times this season have struggled to convert the many chances created into goals and victories. And he said that as well as the deluge of goals they scored the one thing they hope to carry from the Maribor match into the Premier League is confidence.
“The team did good and we had a good result so that’s the most important thing,” Salah added.
“I’m very happy for that — seven goals or eight goals (scored since he joined Liverpool) doesn’t change anything, but the most important thing for us is to concentrate on improving the results in the Premier League.
“We didn’t win for two, three games, so we need to carry on and keep looking forward and win the next games.”
Eighth-placed Liverpool travel to thirdplaced Tottenham on Sunday in a match that will test the title credentials of both sides. Liverpool and their boss Jurgen Klopp are under a lot of pressure to launch a concerted campaign at winning the elusive league title. Having dominated English football in the 1980s and 1970s — when they won 11 league titles from 1973-1990 — the Reds have hit hard times. Not only have they failed to claim a top-flight title since then, but they have rarely even challenged for the big prize, with the famous night in Istanbul in 2005 — when they shocked AC Milan to win the Champions League — masking a lot pain for expectant Liverpool fans.
Klopp (pictured) arrived two years ago amid a fanfare of hope with many claiming the German had the personality and managerial nous to take the Reds to Premier League glory.
While his infectious character has gone down well with the Anfield faithful, a few fed up fans are beginning to voice their disapproval of what they see as stagnation under his leadership. A dodgy defence has not helped, and that has been compounded by too many missed chances up front.
That was one of the reasons why Salah was brought by Klopp, to increase the firepower at Liverpool’s disposal. The 25-year-old has now scored eight goals in 13 appearances for Liverpool and more than that has excited fans and scared opposition defenders in equal measure.
His two goals in Egypt’s clash against the Congo last week — including the injury-time winner from the spot — sent his country through to next year’s World Cup and made him more of a national hero than he was already.
Not only that but former French star and all-time great Thierry Henry said Salah can go right to the top.
“For me, he (Salah) is special, he has something special. He will be a special player for Liverpool,” the former Arsenal and Barcelona star said at the weekend.
“I like the fact that he is direct — we don’t have a lot of players like that in the game anymore.
“And yes, people will say sometimes that he needs four opportunities to score a goal. When he is able to finish all the opportunities he has then he will be more than lethal for this club.”
Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking
- This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings
- Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker
LEEDS: Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker as an innings of exactly 100 not out on his Headingley home ground saw the hosts to an eight-wicket victory over India on Tuesday and a 2-1 series win.
This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings after his 113 not out helped England level the three-match contest with an 86-run win at Lord’s on Saturday.
This latest hundred was also Test skipper Root’s 13th in ODIs, taking him past the England record of 12 he had previously shared with Marcus Trescothick.
Tuesday saw Root and one-day captain Eoin Morgan (88 not out) share an unbroken third-wicket stand of 186 as England, first in the ODI rankings to their opponents’ second, ended India’s run of nine straight bilateral series wins in style.
England, who will be bidding to win the World Cup for the first time when they stage next year’s edition, had said they would treat Tuesday’s match as a dress rehearsal for a winner-takes-all game at the showpiece tournament.
And that made the comprehensive manner of their victory all the more satisfying for Morgan’s men.
It was England’s bowlers who set up this win, with Adil Rashid and David Willey, two of the five Yorkshire cricketers in their XI, taking three wickets apiece.
But, after left-arm quick Willey had kept things tight early on, it was leg-spinner Rashid who did significant damage by taking two wickets in an over.
He bowled India captain and star batsman Virat Kohli (71), as well as dismissing Suresh Raina, on his way to three for 49 in a maximum 10 overs.
Willey, who took three for 40 in nine overs, received excellent new-ball support from Durham quick Mark Wood (one for 30).
Root, who was dropped from the final match of England’s preceding 2-1 Twenty20 series loss, told Sky Sports: “It feels fantastic.
“To come into a big series like this and perform how we have as a side is great.”
Morgan added: “I think we were outstanding. I think the tone was set by the bowlers early on, David Willey and Mark Wood were on the money. From that point there was no let up.”
Meanwhile Kohli accepted his side had been outplayed.
“I thought we were never on the mark as far as runs on the board were concerned, we were 25-30 short, and England were really clinical with the bat and in the field as well,” he said.
After Morgan won the toss, Rohit Sharma, who scored a superb century during India’s eight-wicket win in the series-opener at Trent Bridge, struggled to make two off 18 balls, his innings ending when he flicked Willey to Wood at deep square leg.
Opening partner Shikhar Dhawan made a fluent 44 before was run out by Stokes’s direct hit.
Dinesh Karthik, preferred to KL Rahul for this match, then made 21 before he was bowled between bat and pad by Rashid.
Kohli pressed on, however, completing a 55-ball fifty before Rashid struck twice in six balls as India slumped to 158 for five.
He bowled Kohli with a superb leg-break and had Raina caught low at leg-slip by Root.
James Vince, called up in place of the injured Jason Roy cut the first ball of England’s reply, from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for four.
Vince’s frustrating England career has seen him repeatedly get out on Tuesday he fell for a run-a-ball 27, although it needed a brilliant one-handed take by wicket-keeper Dhoni, from Hardik Pandya’s throw, to run him out.
But by then England were 74 for two inside 10 overs, well above the required run-rate.
Root, stumped off a Yuzvendra Chahal no-ball on 69, went to his century when he pulled Pandya through midwicket for his 10th four in 120 balls as England won with 33 deliveries to spare.
An elated Root celebrated by dropping his bat to the ground — the ‘mic drop’ gesture more associated with rock stars and stand-up comedians than cricketers.