Liverpool analysis – Mohamed Salah silences critics as Reds send Man City recall


Salah silences the critics Another match, another landmark for the remarkable and ridiculous Mohamed Salah.

With a swing from his loyal left foot, the Egyptian rose to 21 goals in the Champions League proper for Liverpool, tying the club record held by Steven Gerrard.

It was a classic strike from Salah, sprinting into space behind Atalanta’s defense and slicing inside Hans Hateboer with his right foot before curling up in the top corner.

So continues their best start to the season for Liverpool, a ninth goal in just 12 appearances.

In his fourth year at Anfield, Salah shows no signs of slowing down.

The palaver over his penalty against West Ham United – it was a kick, in the end – shouldn’t hurt his current exceptional and decisive form.

Salah was a bit difficult in the first half by the physique Berat Djimsiti but had won the battle well before the end, helping Sadio Mane for his goal with a nice pass to free the Senegalese as Liverpool claimed the biggest win of all English club to an Italian team in European competition.

Only 103 goals and 42 assists in 164 appearances for Liverpool for Salah now.

And, scary for opposing defenses, it keeps improving.

Jones and Williams make the Academy shine

It was a proud evening for the Liverpool Academy.

Three graduates have graduated to the Stadio di Bergamo, with Trent Alexander-Arnold joined by 19-year-old duo Curtis Jones and Rhys Williams.

Since the trip to Istanbul in December 2006 to face Galatasaray, the Reds have not fielded more than one teenager in their starting lineup for a Champions League match.

Listen to Jurgen Klopp’s post-match press conference and more in the Blood Red post-match podcast HERE

The match that night was a dead rubber. This clash against Atalanta, however, was to be the toughest game in the group for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

And how the Reds boss was right to trust the two youngsters.

Jones played with the confidence and swagger that saw him rise through the ages and be arguably the best player to feature in the UEFA Youth League last season.

He successfully negotiated the full 90 minutes despite a first-half reservation, linked well with Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson in midfield and could claim an assist for Salah’s strike.

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Williams, who was making his first Champions League start, was rarely ruffled by Atalanta’s attack and acted as a solid foil for the very impressive center-back Joe Gomez.

There was even time for Neco Williams, another Academy graduate, to make a late appearance from the bench in place of Alexander-Arnold.

Radiant smiles around Kirkby this morning, no doubt. And well deserved too.

Man City fired a warning

Manchester City, of all clubs, needed no warning.

But they still have one.

The way in which Liverpool have completely dismantled their closest rivals in the Champions League group – and in Italy too, a country where the Reds rarely thrive – will no doubt cause a wave of consternation in the Etihad, where the team de Klopp will head on Sunday.

Having made their way to four successive victories in the previous fortnight, Liverpool finally broke away and realized their full attacking potential.

It helped Atalanta to be eerily compliant, showing the Premier League champions far too much respect early on and tactically naive after coming behind.

But a first away win in the Champions League group stage for a side in one of Europe’s top five leagues since 2008 was the least Liverpool deserved for such a dominant and outstanding performance.

In addition, they start to collect players. Kostas Tsimikas and Naby Keita will have benefited from cameos in the second half, while the outright victory meant Joel Matip was not needed on the bench.

The city will surely be a much more difficult proposition this weekend. Liverpool, however, are ready.


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