Mohamed Salah yesterday scored his 40th goal of the season as Liverpool produced a scintillating performance to overcome Bournemouth and top off the perfect week as they cemented their place in the top-four of the Premier League.
With the goal, he becomes the first African player to reach 30 Premier League goals in a single season. Didier Drogba was the previous highest African scorer with 29 goals in 2009-10.
Salah’s goal means he’s now the first player to 30 league goals in Europe’s big 5 leagues this season and marks the 40th in all competitions in a remarkable campaign that still has a minimum of six and possibly seven games to run. He also becomes only the seventh player in history to score 30 goals in a 38-game Premier League season.
Sadio Mane got the Reds off the mark after only five minutes with his 17th goal of the season, to ensure Jurgen Klopp’s side had something to show for a blistering first-half display.
After beating Manchester City to clinch their place in the semi-final of the Champions League where they will meet Roma, Klopp insisted his side wouldn’t be distracted domestically, and there was little doubt Liverpool were motivated for the tie as they carved Eddie Howe’s side open time and time again.
. The German named a strong starting line-up, making just one change from the side on Tuesday night, but a combination of profligate finishing and stout defending meant it looked like Liverpool may have to endure a tense finish to the game.
However, Salah produced a moment of magic in the 69th-minute when he headed a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross past Asmir Begovic to put the result beyond doubt and further furnish an already incredibly impressive first season at Liverpool.
The third member of the Reds’ irrepressible front three, Roberto Firmino, added a third in the last minute to put further gloss on an already polished performance.
Liverpool are now only a point behind second-placed Manchester United and move 10 points clear ahead of Chelsea in fifth, while Bournemouth remain 11th.
Few expected Salah to make an appearance let alone start the match after the club’s adventure in Europe during the week, but the Egyptian – quite remarkably – showed little sign of fatigue and even completed the 90 minutes. Only three players – Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez – have managed 31 goals in a single Premier League season, but with four games remaining Salah is bound to smash that record.