Jurgen Klopp relaxed about Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool goal drought

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrate after their recent Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur. (Reuters)
Updated 03 April 2019
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Jurgen Klopp relaxed about Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool goal drought

  • Salah, who scored 44 times in his maiden season at Anfield, has gone eight matches without finding the net
  • Salah’s success last season means he has attracted more attention from opponents

LONDON: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is relaxed about Mohamed Salah’s goalscoring drought, saying the Egyptian forward remains a key part of the title chasers’ attacking armory.
Salah, who scored 44 times in his maiden season at Anfield, has gone eight matches without finding the net but still has 20 goals in 2018/19 and played a pivotal part in the last-gasp winner against Tottenham on Sunday.
“When everybody is talking about ‘he didn’t score in I don’t know how many games’, he doesn’t seem to be bothered about it. I’m not,” Klopp said on Wednesday.
“For sure we didn’t really speak about it. I think if something is clear and obvious you do speak about it. How do you deal with a situation when he scored 40 goals last year?
“His career’s not over. It’s like if he can score this year 20 goals then he’s scored 60 in the last two. Wow, that’s not too bad.”
Salah’s success last season means he has attracted more attention from opponents in the current campaign, often being double-marked.
It has had the effect, though, of benefiting teammates, with Sadio Mane (20 goals) and Roberto Firmino (14) taking on some of the burden.
“Sometimes you need a bit of time to adapt to the new situations and I don’t think he really needed that,” said Klopp on Salah’s overall value to the side and how he has coped with the close attention.
“He’s a threat. He helps us a lot. He deals with all the new situations for him really well.
“If you have only one (goalscorer), you think maybe you rely a bit too much on that. This year we don’t rely on Mo’s goals, but he’s still in a very good position in comparison to all the other players.
“Seventeen (league) goals is a good number, and there are still a lot of games to come. But it was never a problem. We have 79 points — you cannot have that with a lot of problems over the year.”
Liverpool travel to Southampton on Friday and Klopp reported a clean bill of health after a minor injury worry over defender Virgil van Dijk following the win over Tottenham.


Manchester City crush Watford 8-0

Updated 22 September 2019

Manchester City crush Watford 8-0

  • Tottenham rocked by Leicester

LONDON: Manchester City powered to their record Premier League win as the champions scored five times in the first half of an incredible 8-0 thrashing of Watford, while Leicester enjoyed a VAR-assisted 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Saturday.

Inspired by Bernardo Silva’s hat-trick, Pep Guardiola’s side ripped woeful Watford to pieces at the Etihad Stadium, eclipsing a 7-0 success against Norwich in 2013 which stood as their previous biggest top-flight win.

Although City fell one goal short of equalling the biggest Premier League margin of victory — Manchester United’s 9-0 demolition of Ipswich in 1995 — their swaggering display was the perfect way to erase the bitter taste from last weekend’s shock defeat at Norwich.

Second-placed City move to within two points of leaders Liverpool.

City had crushed Watford 6-0 in last season’s FA Cup final and, with injury-plagued left-back Benjamin Mendy making his first start since April, they picked up where they left off at Wembley with a goal inside the first minute at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne played a superb ball in from the right, leaving David Silva with the simple task of poking home from close range for his first goal of the season.

The champions doubled their lead in the seventh minute after Watford keeper Ben Foster conceded a penalty with a foul on Riyad Mahrez.

Sergio Aguero coolly slotted in the spot-kick for his eighth goal in six games this term, taking the Argentina striker to 100 home Premier League goals for City.

Guardiola had rested Raheem Sterling, but even without their star winger City were rampant and they made it three in the 12th minute when Mahrez’s free-kick hit Watford’s Tom Cleverley in the head and deflected past Foster.

Astonishingly, City scored again in the 15th minute, De Bruyne’s corner nodded on by Nicolas Otamendi for Bernardo to head home. By the time Otamendi finished off Aguero’s cross in the 18th minute, City had established the fastest 5-0 lead in the Premier League era.

The joint biggest half-time lead in Premier League history wasn’t enough for City and Bernardo struck again with a close-range finish after another flowing move in the 48th minute. Bernardo completed his first Premier League treble on the hour with a tap-in from De Bruyne’s cross.

De Bruyne set City’s new record mark in the Premier League when the Belgium midfielder scored the eighth in the 85th minute.

At the King Power Stadium, Leicester proved their credentials to gatecrash the top four as they came from behind to beat Tottenham.

The game swung Leicester’s way after Tottenham defender Serge Aurier’s goal midway through the second half was ruled out by the finest of margins for offside by VAR.

The hosts built on that lift immediately as Ricardo Pereira equalized before James Maddison struck the winner from long range five minutes from time.

“We’re six games in, we are not getting carried away,” said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers. “We had a tough start but I’m so pleased with the players’ focus.”

By contrast, Tottenham have now won just two of their first seven games of the season in all competitions and Mauricio Pochettino admitted the VAR controversy had played a role in their latest flop.

Pochettino bemoaned the momentum swing given to Leicester by the long stoppage in play prior to Aurier’s strike being ruled out for an extremely marginal offside against Son Heung-min.

“The emotion of the game changed. The belief it gave to Leicester made things happen differently in the last 10 minutes,” Pochettino said.

“I’m only going to say that we all accept that system in the game and now I am not going to complain.”

Burnley beat Norwich 2-0 at Turf Moor, with New Zealand striker Chris Wood scoring in the 10th and 14th minutes.

Sheffield United piled pressure on Everton manager Marco Silva, whose side were booed off after a 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park, the damage done by Yerry Mina’s 40th-minute own goal and Lys Mousset’s 79th-minute strike.