Throughout the tightly contested league opener, Salah justified the widespread desire to keep him at the club for years to come. Without the three points, it’s harder to relish an impressive display, but an assist and a goal was enough to salvage a point and perhaps catch the imagination of supporters wondering what the Egyptian King might bring to the new campaign.
Luis Diaz looked the likeliest to grab headlines in the first half, but his left-footed effort that hit woodwork started with Salah recognizing that an apparent breakaway needed to be reeled in to maintain possession. Salah looked like he might be through, but pressure from Fulham and the numbers against him meant he had to slow the play down and turn it around to help set up the next phase of the attack. Diaz may have missed, but it was the best Liverpool threat of the first half.
Salah was given little space in the first half, clearly identified as the main threat by Marco Silva’s defense, but a little extra space was afforded after the 50th-minute introduction of Darwin Nunez. It took two near-perfect passes from Salah into the Uruguayan striker and two backheel attempts, but Darwin scored his first premier league goal, hitting the roof of the net in front of the traveling Kop. A premier league debut to remember for Darwin, and the partnership with Salah certainly looked promising.
Darwin’s goal leveled the game, but before long the Reds needed another leveler after an uncharacteristic mistake from Virgil led to a Fulham penalty. Darwin turned provider for Salah, who finished his best chance of the match. The calm finish insured Salah reached a new record, his sixth consecutive goal on the opening day of the premier league season.
Mo Salah’s brilliance may not have ended in victory on the day, but the best player in the world is on a new contract, breaking his own goal-scoring record on Matchday 1, proving he’s ready for the new campaign. Definitely something to be hopeful about.