Mohamed Salah not Giving up on Premier League Title after Liverpool Beat Manchester City
Mohamed Salah said Liverpool are not giving up on the Premier League title after the Egyptian’s strike in a 1-0 win inflicted Manchester City’s first defeat of the season on Sunday.
The Reds are still 10 points behind City and 14 adrift of leaders Arsenal, but kickstarted their season with just a third league win of the campaign.
“Personally I love to play always for a title,” said Salah. “In my head I am going to fight for it, but we need to focus more and take one game at a time.”
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Jurgen Klopp was sent off in the closing stages as he lost the plot with the officials for refusing to award Salah a free-kick.
But City were also left fuming at referee Anthony Taylor after he disallowed Phil Foden’s strike early in the second half after a VAR review.
“This is Anfield,” said City boss Pep Guardiola, who was targeted by coins thrown from the crowd in the aftermath of the disallowed goal.
“The referee spoke with my assistant and Jurgen before the game and said ‘Today I won’t make soft fouls’ and all the game was play on, play on, play on, except the goal we scored.”
For all their achievements under Guardiola, City are still to master Anfield in front of a crowd as Liverpool’s proud unbeaten home league record with fans in attendance dating back to 2017 goes on.
– Haaland draws a blank –
Klopp claimed in his pre-match press conference that no one can compete with the wealth of resources at City’s disposal after adding Erling Haaland to a squad filled with seasoned Premier League winners.
But the Norwegian’s 10-game scoring streak at club level came to an end on an afternoon Liverpool will hope gives their season lift-off.
“On a normal day you should not even try against City, you have to play to your limits and further,” added Klopp.
“That’s what we did in a well organised and very passionate way.”
Liverpool have caused City more problems than anyone else in England over the past five years and belied the form of both sides heading into the game to inflict the champions’ first league defeat since February.
A lacklustre first half was followed by an explosive second period.
Salah should have opened the scoring when he latched onto Roberto Firmino’s through ball and Ederson made a brilliant save low to his right.
Seconds later the ball was in the Liverpool net as Foden swept home the loose ball after Alisson Becker bravely saved at Haaland’s feet.
However, the goal was ruled out after a VAR check for a foul by Haaland on Fabinho in the build-up.
Guardiola was still furiously remonstrating with the officials on the touchline when the home side missed another huge chance to break the deadlock.
Salah’s cross picked out Jota at the far post, who headed against the post when it seemed easier to score.
Haaland was next to be denied as the game raged from one end to the other as his low effort was palmed away by Alisson.
But it was Liverpool’s star marksman who finally found his range.
Salah bent another effort inches wide after turning Ruben Dias.
But the Egyptian did not spare City at the third time of asking as he outmuscled Joao Cancelo to latch onto Alisson’s long ball and kept his cool to slot past Ederson.
Virgil van Dijk’s dip in form has been one of the key factors in Liverpool’s slow start to the season.
The Dutchman, though, rose to the challenge of stopping Haaland and made one vital intervention to turn Cancelo’s cross away from the City number nine.
Klopp was given his marching orders for coming face-to-face with the assistant referee after Salah appeared to have been hauled back by Bernardo Silva.
“The red card is my fault, I went over the top in that moment,” said Klopp.
“I lost it in that moment, that’s not ok, but a little bit as an excuse I would like to mention is how can you not whistle that as a foul?”
But City were also lacking in composure to make their possession count on the field as Liverpool held out.
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