LONDON – Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah celebrated what he described as “one of my best days” by scoring twice in a record 7-0 hammering of arch-rivals Manchester United to become the Merseyside club’s English Premier League top scorer on Sunday.
The 30-year-old claimed the individual record with their fourth and sixth goals during the second half at Anfield and took off his shirt to celebrate his club’s biggest ever win over United.
Salah, who scored for a sixth straight match against United in all competitions, reached 129 goals for Liverpool in the Premier League, taking him past Robbie Fowler’s mark of 128, with the Englishman promptly congratulating the Egyptian on Twitter.
A week after a resurgent United claimed their first trophy since 2017 by winning the League Cup and amid talk of a title push, they were blown away the Reds recorded their biggest ever margin of victory in the fixture.
“I cannot describe it. This is one of my best days of my life, and I broke the record that I was seeking from the time I came to the club,” Salah told beIN Sports with a smile.
“Our goal was to win... Everyone was hungry to score and we scored seven, and I hope this will give us a boost, not an excessive confidence... and also we can continue to win until we end the season in the top four.”
He added: “It’s very special. I cannot lie. This record was in my mind since I came here. After my first season, I was always chasing that record.”
His manager Jurgen Klopp called Salah’s tally “an unbelievable number” and described him as “a special player”.
He added: “We appreciate him now but, in the future, people will look back and be ‘Wow, we witnessed something really special’.”
Salah is valued not just by fans but also by club legends Graeme Souness and Jamie Carragher.
“He’s been fantastic for this club. He’s the greediest striker I have come across, but all top strikers are. A class act,” former Liverpool captain and manager Graeme Souness said on Sky Sports.
“The hardest thing is to get a goalscorer, and he is a natural. I am sure he is great to work with and, when you have players like that in your dressing room, you have a great chance.”
Carragher added: “I never worry about Salah. Now and again he goes a few games without scoring, but he is a great goalscorer.
“He comes alive in big games, with that pace and energy. He has been a revelation and one of the best attacking players we have ever seen in the Premier League.”
Liverpool’s fourth win in five league matches lifted them above Newcastle United into fifth spot on 42 points, three behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.
“We succeeded in taking advantage of all the chances, and our finishing was great from all the players,” Salah, who scored his first Liverpool goal in 2017, added.
In addition to Salah’s brace, forwards Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez each scored twice before Roberto Firmino came off the bench to send Klopp’s side into seventh heaven.
Centre-back Virgil van Dijk said he is excited by Liverpool’s new-look forward line.
He hailed his side’s “world-class” strikes at Anfield, describing Gakpo’s first goal as “outstanding”.
“Obviously it’s been a difficult time to come in any club, in the winter for any player, but he’s settling in very well,” he said.
“It’s a very difficult position to play. He learns from one of the best, each and every day with Bobby Firmino. He has to keep going, keep the confidence, keep the belief and stick together.
“He will be fine for this club... he’s a fantastic player. Darwin is causing chaos all the time with his speed, his passion and also with the quality.”
On Saturday, Liverpool visit Bournemouth before travelling to Real Madrid in the second leg of their Round of 16 Champions League tie trying to overturn their 5-2 defeat at Anfield. REUTERS, AFP