Five yards from the bye line. Outside the box. On his weaker foot. With a defender between him and the line. After missing a hatful of chances. No one thought he could do it. Yet, somehow, Salah found a way.
The Egyptian’s remarkable strike against Red Bull Salzburg secured a victory for Liverpool. The goal confirmed their place in the Champions League last 16.
It was a night for the usually deadly Salah who had missed a host of chances by the time he scored.
After five minutes, he raced onto a Dejan Lovren pass but then shot it straight at the keeper.
Then, he missed a glorious chance from six yards out after being found in space by Naby Keita. He failed to hit the target.
Next was a free-kick which he hit high and wide.
It was more of the same after the break. Sadio Mane picked him out well. But with just the keeper to beat, he lifted his shot over the bar.
Seconds later, Salah ran onto a through ball and tried to go around Cican Stankovic but showed too much of the ball to the goalkeeper.
Perhaps, he was just finding his range. Because the next time he had a chance, he settled matters in style.
When Salzburg defender, Jerome Onguene headed Jordan Henderson’s long pass into his path, Salah took the ball in his stride leaving the keeper for dead. But, he still had so much hard work to do. Somehow he managed to squeeze the ball through the tiny gap into the back of the net.
Reactions to the goal
“The angle is outrageous. I’m thinking ‘it’s on your weaker foot Mo, you can’t do this’ but he does and it’s an outrageous finish from his hardest opportunity of the night.” Said former Reds defender, Stephen Warnock.
Former Liverpool striker, Michael Owen said the goal was “off the scale” while another ex-Reds forward, Peter Crouch called it “ridiculous”
“Mo scored the most difficult situation of the whole night.” Said Klopp.
“I have no idea how. With his quality, how he didn’t score one or two of the others, I have no clue.”
“He played well but didn’t score in the expected situations. But staying on track and making such a decisive and very difficult finish, that probably says much more about him than all of the other goals he has scored. So, staying concentrated, belief in the next moment, it was brilliant. A very, very difficult goal but a sensational finish.”
“It was probably his toughest chance.” Said Andy Robertson. “Mo puts a lot of pressure on himself to score goals. He has taken a ridiculous goal. I don’t know how it went in, especially on his weaker foot.”
That, unsurprisingly, was the first time he had scored a right-footed goal outside the penalty area since arriving in Europe in 2012.