African All Stars

Ronaldo vs Salah: Do penalties matter?

02:03 SAST 2022/04/18
Salah Ronaldo
The goal records of the two Premier League heavyweights has prompted debate among supporters

by Joel Omotto

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Norwich as Manchester United won 3-2 in the Premier League on Saturday has re-ignited debate on the importance of penalty and non-penalty goals.

Fans online could not agree whether non-penalty goals count for something more than those scored from 12 yards after a comment that suggested Ronaldo’s goals in the Premier League this season mean more than Mohamed Salah’s.

“Ronaldo has a better non-penalty goals per 90 minutes ratio than Salah in the Premier League this season. The narrative around the two suggest otherwise,” @Mikhaelli wrote on Twitter following Ronaldo’s heroics on Saturday, appearing to suggest the United forward does not get as much credit as the Liverpool star.

Ronaldo, who rejoined United in the summer from Juventus has found the net 15 times in 23 matches this season, his goals including two penalties.

By contrast, Salah is the Premier League’s leading scorer with 20 from 27 matches, five spot-kicks among them.

It is an argument that has left fans online divided, some claiming Salah is ahead of Ronaldo while some believe the five-time Ballon d’Or winner should be getting more credit.

“Salah has more goals and assists and has done it in the big games. There’s nothing to discuss,” responded @MattyLFC1990, suggesting the Egyptian turns up when it matters most.

He added: “Scored against Chelsea home and away, City home, hat-trick at United away, Everton away, Arsenal home. I could go on.”

@whytejr1 also thinks there is no debate here. He said: “Salah hat-trick, Manchester United. Ronaldo hat-trick, Norwich.”

However, @quickyD1 disagrees: “Have you really tried to compare a Ronaldo hat-trick when he has 50 club hat-tricks scoring against every big club there is. That’s just silly,” he responded.

“Salah better than Ronaldo this season, where were you before [Saturday’s] game? You lot were dead mute like y’all never existed after the Everton game, on Tuesday is another game day,” replied @DadyGaga10, telling off United fans for getting ahead of themselves before they meet Liverpool on Tuesday.

“One is currently chasing a quadruple and the other plays for Manchester United trying to get into the Europa League,” @antooconel said—pointing out the different stakes the pair are currently playing for as the season draws to a close.

@Over40Guy believes the two bring different things to the table and should not be compared.

“Salah makes the other players around him better, Ronaldo does not,” he replied.

“Salah only had two, maybe three good seasons in him. Ronaldo has been banging them year after year,” said @JohnR6, suggesting Ronaldo’s longevity gives him an edge over Salah.

Ronaldo and Salah will meet on Tuesday when Liverpool host United in the Premier League and the debate will surely continue based on how both will perform.