News
African All Stars

Zero key passes and zero goals: Stats underline Salah’s Liverpool display against Manchester City

21:33 EAT 16/04/2022
Mohamed Salah
Although the Reds saw off the Citizens at Wembley, the Egypt international was not at his best again

Mohamed Salah continues to struggle without a recent goal as Liverpool defeated Manchester City 3-2 in Saturday’s English FA Cup semi-final.

The Egypt international went into the showdown aiming to end his five-match goal drought against Pep Guardiola’s Citizens at Wembley.

Jurgen Klopp’s side booked a place in the final - where they will be aiming to win the competition for the eighth time in their history.

Apart from the fact that he could not find the net, he could only muster a shot on target from the three shots played.

Offensively, he could only complete two dribbles, had zero key passes while he was caught in an offside position twice by referee Simon Hooper.

Also, he accounted for two crosses, 38 touches, 21 passes, and a passing accuracy of 71.4 percent.

Salah did not add any value to Liverpool defensively with statistics showing he scored zero judging by top tackles, interceptions, clearances, and blocked shots while committing one foul.

Before the game against Manchester City, manager Klopp blamed the ‘intense’ 2021 Africa Cup of Nations - where he helped the Pharaohs reach the final -  as a key factor behind his not too impressive recent showings.

“He had, definitely, the most intense period in January in his whole career,” the German tactician told the club website.

“The tournament [Africa Cup of Nations] went to the wire, that meant they played the final, 120 minutes; the role in the team, he has massive responsibility on his shoulders, had to do dressing room meetings and stuff like this, so there was no recovery at all.

“Being a superstar for a whole country, everybody wants something, that's always super-intense. And, again, that's OK for the boys, but it's not that now there is a period there is down – there is no down or whatever, it is completely normal.”

Regardless, the former Chelsea and AS Roma forward has been backed to finish the 2021-22 season on a strong note.

“A player like Mo who likes to dribble and is really good [at it], scored outstanding goals with dribbling, would I go to him now, 'Don't dribble?' No, but dribble in the right moment, keep the ball, keep it simple and all these kinds of things, but that's a process,” he continued.

“The problem is it's not a long process, maybe a week or two or something like this, but the boys are in focus every day.

“I know he will finish strongly, it's just the moment we have reset and each game for us is a final, since the beginning of January. It's crazy.”

Liverpool take on Manchester United on April 20 with Salah hoping to regain his scoring form.