Mohamed Salah produced another masterclass as the Egyptian underlined his status as one of the best players in the world as his two-goal display helped sink Watford 5-0 at Vicarage Road.
The Reds were on the frontfoot from the first whistle to the last to give Claudio Ranieri a rude awakening on his return to the Premier League. It also served to remind why Liverpool are strongly fancied to push for the Premier League title again this season.
Here we looked at three players who are simply indispensable to Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The Reds opened the scoring after just nine minutes when a sumptuous ball from Salah played in Sadio Mane who made no mistake.
And it was 2-0 after 37 minutes when Roberto Firmino tucked home from close range. The Brazilian then netted his second seven minutes into the restart after Ben Foster spilled the ball.
However, the best was still to come when Salah scored Liverpool’s fourth. Picking up the ball inside the box and surrounded by players, he twisted and turned his way round three defenders, dumping Craig Cathcart on his backside, before curling an unstoppable effort into the far corner.
It was a strike of sublime skill and quality and reminded some of the older generation of a certain Diego Maradona at his peak.
STOP THAT, MO SALAH! 🇪🇬👑
The footwork is magical, the finish is sublime.
He had the Watford defence on strings! 😱 pic.twitter.com/tBWPWWOxeX
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 16, 2021
Salah has ripped up all kinds of records since arriving on Merseyside in a bargain £36.9m deal in summer 2017. But with the Egyptian’s contract expiring in summer 2023, talks have rumbled on over a new deal deal.
Liverpool are desperate for him to sign an extension to ward off interest from Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.
They also want him to follow in the footsteps of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson by penning a new deal.
But negotiations between Liverpool and Salah’s entourage are progressing slowly. There have been rumours that the forward wants £500,000 per week, to reward his status as one of the Premier League’s top players.
The Reds are unwilling to meet that salary as they do not want to break their wage structure. This is one of the reasons why Shialah’s future on Merseyside is far from certain.
Whether he stays or leaves, however, Salah’s performance underlined exactly he’s so important to the Reds.
Furthermore, it had pundit Jermaine Jenas waxing lyrical about his second in the game.
“It was absolutely brilliant. The assist for the first goal, let’s not forget about that – but his second goal was incredible,” Jenas said. “That is a goal you are going to see time and time again. Not just this season, but in Premier League history. It will go down as one of the great goals.
“These Watford players have just had to stand, watch and admire. Danny Rose has had a nightmare afternoon.”
Salah compared to Ronaldinho
BT Sport commentator Darren Fletcher added: “It’s a glorious day for Liverpool and a quite brilliant goal for Mohamed Salah. Liverpool are back on top and they have thoroughly deserved it.”
Host Jake Humphrey picked up the appraisal back in the studio.
“Without question one of his best – and one that will long live in the memory. He’s not just a great goalscorer, he’s a scorer of great goals. That one will live long in the memory. It’s one of those, ‘I was there moments’.”
Pundit Joe Cole claimed Salah is now one of, if not the, best player in the world right on current form.
“He’s in the form of his life and there’s an argument there for him being the best player in the world right now,” Cole beamed. “He’s certainly the best in the Premier League right now. He’s such a top, top player.
“He reminds me of Ronaldinho, how he was. That’s the type of goal he used to score.”