Mohamed Salah stars again as Liverpool go second in the Premier League

Mohamed Salah has now scored 23 goals in the Premier League so far this season
Updated 24 February 2018
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Mohamed Salah stars again as Liverpool go second in the Premier League

LIVERPOOL: Mohamed Salah was inevitably on the scoresheet as Liverpool took full advantage of the inactivity of their top-four rivals to thrash West Ham United 4-1 at Anfield and provisionally move into second in the Premier League.
With leaders Manchester City facing Arsenal in the League Cup final on Sunday, when Manchester United host Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur travel to Crystal Palace in the league, Juergen Klopp’s free scorers topped 100 goals for the season in their 40th match.
Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane also netted in another Liverpool goal rush that moved them 15 points behind Pep Guardiola’s City.
Liverpool’s win was not quite as routine as the scoreline suggested with West Ham occasionally threatening on another nerve-tingling Anfield afternoon although David Moyes’ long wait for a first win at the ground continues.
Salah scored for the sixth successive game in all competitions and his goal took him level with Harry Kane at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 23 this season.
But Can was equally influential in Liverpool’s win, heading the opener and laying on a superb through pass for Firmino to score Liverpool’s third before Mane chipped in with a fourth goal in two games.
“It is difficult to be top, Manchester City are too far away, but of course we want to finish second,” said the German, whose six league goals represent the best haul of his Liverpool career which could be in its final season as his contract expires at the end of the campaign.
At the bottom of the table, the future of West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew looks increasingly bleak after their 2-1 defeat at home to relegation rivals Huddersfield Town.
Swansea City crashed 4-1 at Brighton & Hove Albion and Bournemouth came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Newcastle United.


Ahmed Barman out to toast Al-Ain success in FIFA Club World Cup

Updated 11 December 2018
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Ahmed Barman out to toast Al-Ain success in FIFA Club World Cup

  • Tournament gets under way on Wednesday when Al-Ain take on Team Wellington at home.
  • UAE midfielder sure his side can cause a few shocks.

LONDON: While he is only too aware of the quality opposition they have to face, Al-Ain midfielder Ahmed Barman is backing “The Boss” to scare a few teams in the FIFA Club World Cup.
The tournament gets under way when the UAE outfit face Team Wellington on their home ground in the opener today. Last year saw fellow Arabian Gulf League side Al-Jazira reach the semifinal where they gave Real Madrid a huge fright before narrowly losing 2-1. And inspired by that march to the last four, Barman is looking for Al-Ain to go one better and become the first Emirati side to make the final.
“The FIFA Club World Cup is a global competition coveted by every club,” Barman said. “Al-Ahli, Al-Jazira and Al-Wahda participated in this tournament before and did their part, putting the UAE on the world map. We at Al-Ain hope to reach the semi-final, as Al-Jazira did, or do even better.”
Before any tournament it is only natural to dream of glory and lifting the trophy in front of adoring fans. But the midfielder is not getting too cocky, revealing that despite having home advantage Al-Ain are taking absolutely nothing for granted, starting with Wednesday’s clash against the Kiwis.
“There’s no doubt that we’re aiming to reach the final and face a giant like Real Madrid, but first we have to focus on our opening match against Team Wellington,” the 24-year-old said.
“We need to win to progress from this round and play the subsequent games until we reach the final against Real Madrid and show a standard of play the UAE can be proud of.”
Barman is not anticipating an easy opener.
“Team Wellington are a very good team with considerable ability. They won their local league and the OFC Champions League, which proves they’re powerful.
“So, all our focus is on this opening match. We’re annualizing our opponents to understand their capabilities as we prepare to perform well on the pitch and get positive result.”
The UAE champions did not have the best preparation for their stab at Club World Cup glory, losing 5-2 to Al-Wasl in the UAE President’s Cup at the weekend.
That result, while clearly not ideal, has not bothered the side’s coach.
“We cannot win every game, what is gone is gone, it’s full concentration on the match ahead,” Zoran Mamic said.
“There are no rules that Al-Ain cannot lose games, that’s why I don’t make any drama.”
But while Barman was keen to invoke the memory of Al-Jazira’s march to the last four, his boss was less so, telling his team to focus on the match at hand before getting ahead of themselves.
“We are not here to talk about last year, just as we are not here to talk about the future,” the Croatian said. “We are here to represent the club in the best possible way. We focus on the match at hand and everything will take care of itself.”
Of today’s opponents he added: “We have watched all their games, we know their strengths and where they are not so strong. They are particularly good offensively, they play with fast wingers and a striker who is a good scorer, they play a system that is unusual to us because no teams in the Emirates play with three in the last line. If we do our job we will (have) a good match.”