Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey has this afternoon provided an insight into Mohamed Salah’s mindset, amid the disappointing run of form being endured by the Egyptian.
Fulham 1-2 Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds travelled to Craven Cottage on Sunday, for a Premier League clash.
The visitors headed into proceedings aware that a 3-point haul would see them leapfrog Manchester City and take the title of league leaders into the international break, after the Citizens secured their spot in the FA Cup’s semi-finals on Saturday evening.
And secure a vital victory was exactly what Liverpool went on to do at Craven Cottage, albeit by means of a surprisingly hard-fought 2-1 scoreline.
The in-form Sadio Mane opened the fixture’s scoring shortly before the half-hour mark, slotting home following a lovely piece of inter-play between the African and Roberto Firmino.
17 – Sadio Mané has scored 17 goals in the Premier League this season, overtaking Demba Ba as the Senegalese player with the most goals in a single campaign (16 in 2011-12). Lions. pic.twitter.com/Z76rOGmelK
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 17, 2019
Despite Liverpool having looked largely in control, Fulham went on to pull level 15 minutes from time, though.
Former Liverpool man Ryan Babel netted the goal, following a major mix-up at the back for Liverpool between James Milner, Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson.
The away side, however, quickly bounced back, showcasing their Premier League title credentials to bag an 81st-minute winner, courtesy of James Milner’s spot-kick.
51 – Most Premier League games scored in without ending on the losing side:
51 – James Milner
46 – Darius Vassell
37 – Dele Alli
32 – Salomon Kalou
28 – Oyvind Leonhardsen
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 17, 2019
On an otherwise positive outing for Liverpool, though, one concerning aspect of the Merseysiders’ performance was the latest showing of Mohamed Salah.
Egyptian international Salah struggled to showcase his brilliant best yet again at Craven Cottage, continuing to be overshadowed by Sadio Mane.
The 26-year-old’s blank in front of goal came as his 7th in a row, with Salah having been targeted for his ‘selfish’ nature by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher in the aftermath of the clash.
Carragher: “He [Salah] has been selfish and greedy, no doubt.
“His record for Liverpool has been outstanding in the Premier League – scoring and creating goals.
“He’s been a constant threat. But two or three times he’s got to get his head up and see what’s around him.”
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) March 19, 2019
‘Trying a little bit too hard’
Another former Liverpool star, meanwhile, in the form of Emile Heskey, has this afternoon provided his take on Salah’s recent dip in form.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Heskey, a former goalscorer himself, agreed with Carragher’s assessment that the African wide-man needs to figure out ‘when to pass the ball’, before also suggesting that Salah’s sensational campaign last time out, which saw him named among the world’s finest players, is ‘probably still in his head’:
‘He’s still got 17 goals [in the Premier League], so he’s not having that bad a season. But he’s probably just trying a little bit too hard.’
‘He’s looking at the season before when he was scoring all these goals, confidence was high, things were ricocheting then going in.’
‘He’s not getting that luck now. But he still wants to get the goals and everyone is still looking at him as that go-to guy for the goals.’
‘There’s times when he should be passing the ball but he’s wanting to score himself. That is the danger.’
‘When you’re going through that patch you need the balance. You need to know when to pass the ball, when to take the shot.’
‘You’ve got to remember we were talking of him last season in the same vein as Messi and Ronaldo, so he’s probably got that in his head as well. So he wants to be scoring the goals like they are.’