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The Roar


'Genius football moment': Scattergun Salah fires Liverpool into top spot as City grind out draw with Arsenal

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31st March, 2024

Mo Salah has kept his composure, putting aside a series of missed chances, to send Liverpool top of the Premier League with a comeback 2-1 win against Brighton at Anfield.

With title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal grinding each other to a goalless draw at the Etihad a few hours later Liverpool ended Easter Sunday two points clear with nine rounds of matches to go.

Salah struck in the 65th minute at Anfield after Luis Diaz had cancelled out Danny Welbeck’s shock early goal. 

Welbeck lashed a shot into the top corner from just inside the box after two minutes. Liverpool levelled when Diaz prodded past Bart Verbruggen from close range. 

The winner came after Alexis Mac Allister fed Salah inside the box. He had missed several previous chances but this time controlled the ball before slotting home with a side-foot finish for his 22nd goal of the season in all competitions.

Salah had 12 attempts on goal, his most in a Premier League match and the most on record by a Liverpool player in the competition, but Jurgen Klopp was unconcerned. 

“Mo, like the others, was a bit in a rush to finish off situations and didn’t do like they can do it,” the Liverpool coach said.


“But then being that calm in the decisive moment with the biggest chance we had from the best football we played, then that makes a real goalscorer so we are happy with everything.

“How wasteful we were at all the other moments, it was good we had this genius football moment to finish the game off.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on March 31, 2024 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Klopp said his team had the composure to hold their nerve in the closing rounds of the season.

“In terms of being nervous as a unit, we were more nervous years ago,” Klopp said. “We would be 1-0 up and nobody would calm down until it was 3-0 of 4-0.

“It will be tough and the heart-rate will be at 180 [to] 200 from time to time, but if we enjoy this we have a chance. If we don’t, it will be much more difficult. That’s why we have to stay positive in these situations. We are up there with two other teams to win the biggest prize in English football, but we will really try hard to enjoy it.

“That was the first of the last 10, so let’s keep going.”


In a game of few chances in Manchester defending champions City came closest to finding a winner when Nathan Ake headed straight at goalkeeper David Raya from a corner.

That was City’s only effort on target while Arsenal’s two attempts were innocuous.

The goalless draw ended City’s run of scoring in their last 57 home games.

“Always who is first is favourite,” City boss Pep Guardiola said when asked if Liverpool were “clear favourites” to win the league.

“The second favourite is Arsenal and we are third…It’s not in our hands.”


“We’re not favourites any more,” City’s Bernardo Silva added. “We have to be realistic.

“Now we don’t depend on ourselves, we depend on Liverpool because we don’t play them. We need them to drop points and win our games.”

“If you don’t win you’re never happy but I think we have made a big step,” Arsenal coach Mikael Arteta said. “We wanted to win. We know the Liverpool result but there’s still a lot to play for.”

with AAP