Mohamed Salah played for Roma in 2016-17, but after scoring 15 goals in 31 games, he was sold on to Liverpool. One of the knocks from Roma fans at the time was that, while Salah could get into great positions, he wasn’t a good enough finisher.
The Liverpool man went absolutely off in the first half of the team’s first leg semifinal Champions League matchup against his former club Tuesday, scoring two gorgeous goals and making a strong statement to not only Roma, but the world. He tacked on two assists in the second half, one to Sadio Mane and one to Firmino, in a game that ended 5-2 for Liverpool.
They were his 42nd and 43rd goals in all competitions this season.
The first came after a strong passage of Liverpool play that saw Salah’s teammate Sadio Mane miss a couple of golden opportunities.
Salah, on the other hand, didn’t waste his chance.
Pick that one out!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 24, 2018
Absolutely nothing Alisson can do on this inch-perfect shot from Mohamed Salah. pic.twitter.com/zn2OjWMhzb
That’s not a shot that any goalie alive is saving. And while Roma fans will be curious about some of the calls in the leadup to the goal (Edin Dzeko’s calls for fouls were not being heard by the referee at all in that half), you simply can’t give Salah space like that in the box at this point in his career.
Fans in Cairo enjoyed that goal.
These Liverpool fans in Cairo certainly enjoyed Mohamed Salah's opener... pic.twitter.com/kjjtjaQ8zu— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 24, 2018
Then a few minutes later he did this:
It's getting silly, folks.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 24, 2018
Mo Salah AGAIN. His 43rd goal in all competitions this season. pic.twitter.com/ng4fkRt5Ol
Clearance out of the box, a touch to Firmino, a couple dribbles, and then it’s nothing but space ... and a brilliant, clever finish the keeper could do nothing about.
It was only halftime, and Salah was not only showing his class, he’s doing it in arguably the biggest match of his life, and answering any questions people might have had about him winning PFA Player of the Year.
(Still probably should have been De Bruyne, but, well, this is a celebratory blog of Salah doing dope stuff. So let’s not get hung up on that.)
In the second half, things got even more out of control.
The third came from Salah again, this time to find Mane.
Salah turns provider and finds Mané in the box to make it 3-0 for Liverpool!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 24, 2018
A *hint* of offside to start the play off, but it doesn't matter now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/XBnHuRKFVo
Then Salah was provider again, adding another assist by torching a Roma defender and finding Firmino at the back post.
Scored two. Set up two.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 24, 2018
The Mo Salah Show. Best episode yet. pic.twitter.com/xs0D48T5us
Let’s throw on a fifth. Firmino again, off a corner.
Sorry, did we say the Mo Salah Show? We meant 'The Salah and Firmino Show.'— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 24, 2018
Make it 2 goals and 2 assists for the Brazilian as well! pic.twitter.com/w5vJO4DE57
At that point, I’m dizzy. I don’t know what’s happening. Salah just subbed off in the 74th minute, because Liverpool is resting their star for the final 15 minutes of the Champions League semifinal. WHAT WAS GOING ON?
Then, of course, Liverpool decided to give their fans a heart attack.
Roma pulled two back — the first came from Dzeko, after a bad mistake from Lovren.
Minutes later, Perotti pulled a second one back, this time from the spot after a hand ball was called in the box.
This is the Liverpool experience, in all its glory. I need a nap.