Tight Merseyside Derby Sees Salah Shine
Harvey Elliott is the young Englishman that returned from a brilliant international stint, where he played superbly for his under-21 side. His homecoming saw him take a place on the Anfield substitutes bench, yet it was his second half cameo which was most talked about. I mention him first, as he had a very good impact that allowed him to express the best components of his attacking game. A tremendous long-range effort nearly added to his midweek England tally, however, he was not my man of the match.
Elliott Impresses, But Salah Steals Show
Today was a display of patience within a game where outstanding performances were never prominent, especially after a round of largely pointless international ties. The Liverpool starting line-up was pretty much as expected, and the stubborn resilience of Sean Dyche’s team was always going to line-up to be a deciding factor. That all-important early goal did not arrive for the home side, which meant composed and decisive few moments were going to be the key factors in a tense encounter. Luis Díaz was evidently tasked with running at the 38-year-old Ashley Young with every single opportunity, which saw two bookable first half offences end in an early bath for the former Manchester United captain. Up until this point, the contest had been even, with James Tarkowski leading a stubborn backline.
Mohamed Salah is the first player to be directly involved in 30+ Premier League goals in 2023:
◎ 31 games
◉ 19 goals
◉ 12 assists
And he’s only failed to score or assist in one Premier League home game in that time. 👏 pic.twitter.com/zlB0BDxyun
— Squawka (@Squawka) October 21, 2023
Stubborn Defences Battle at Anfield
Mohamed Salah had sporadic moments in this game, however, indecision and the sheer volume of surrounding players made a breakthrough almost impossible. The flow of the game changed with the red card, as it allowed Liverpool to become more offensive and risk flooding the opposition half with dangerous intent.
It was after a pair of offensive substitutes were brought into the match, that the penalty was awarded. A clear handball allowed VAR the ammunition to award a spot-kick, one which could not be disputed. With no hesitation or fear, our Egyptian King hammered the ball into the corner of the Everton goal, as Jordan Pickford dived in the opposite direction.
Mohamed Salah’s first 9 PL Matches:
• Chelsea (A) – 🅰️
• Bournemouth (H) – ⚽️
• Newcastle (A) – 🅰️
• Aston Villa (H) – ⚽️
• Wolves (A) – 🅰️🅰️
• West Ham (H) – ⚽️
• Spurs (A) – 🅰️*
• Brighton (A) – ⚽️⚽️
• Everton (H) – ⚽️⚽️
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) October 21, 2023
Clinical Salah Secures Vital Win for Reds
The frustration of this game was gleefully relieved late on, as the away side desperately tried to find the equalising goal they did not deserve. A breakaway opportunity had failed just minutes prior to the moment that brought the second goal. As Darwin Núñez got a run on the back-pedalling defence, the options opened and ended in a fine assist that his top-scoring talisman was able to finish off. Though this was not prime Mohamed Salah, it showed that clinical side that can be just as important as the playmaker master that has evolved within Liverpool 2.0. To navigate another 12:30 kick-off and emerge with all three points was vital. The mentality and scoring prowess of today’s man of the match allowed the victory to be secured, which is exactly what is needed as we enter the busiest period of this enthralling Premier League season.