Premier League: Mohamed Salah shines as Liverpool down Leicester City

LONDON: Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool came from behind to maintain their push for a Champions League place with 2-1 victory over Leicester at Anfield on Saturday..

The Egypt international took his tally to 23 for the campaign, with 17 Premier League goals this season with two fine finishes, with a second-half double to reach the same mark set by Hunt in 1961-62.

Salah took Sadio Mane’s brilliant pass and showed good footwork before drilling past Kasper Schmeichel for his 22nd club goal of an incredible debut season following his move from Roma.

Salah, the 25-year-old is a skilful winger then won it for Liverpool in the 76th minute, turning away from Leicester defender Harry Maguire and firing in at the Kop end.

Liverpool, unbeaten in 12 league games, remain fourth and now hold a four-point advantage over fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Jamie Vardy put Leicester ahead but Liverpool, who had new 75 million pounds (USD 100 million) signing Vigil van Dijk watching from the Anfield stands, fought back after the interval to secure the points.

“It is a maximum satisfaction to win like this. Today was pretty much perfect,”  Liverpool manager JurgenKlopp said. “Mo was fantastic with his dribbling and his vision. I couldn’t ask more from him.”

Pinpoint finish

Seven minutes after the interval the Egypt international chased Mane’s clever backheel into the penalty area before his close control took him past Daniel Amartey on to his favoured left foot.

With the Kop screaming for the net to bulge, Salah took a moment then arrowed a pinpoint finish through the legs of Schmeichel.

An unsavoury incident followed as Firmino, eager to get the ball for Leicester to kick-off, and Harry Maguire grappled inside the goalmouth before referee Neil Swarbrick stepped in.

Mane had the ball in the net again just after the hour, but again he was in an offside position.

Leicester’s chances were more fleeting although Karius breathed a sigh of relief when Wilfred Ndidi’s sweetly struck shot following a corner whistled past the post.

Salah was to prove the difference between the two sides, though, when he added his and Liverpool’s second to put the Reds in front with 14 minutes remaining.

Firmino rolled the ball in to James Milner and his clever flick slipped in Salah. Milner looked for the return pass, but Salah had other ideas.

The 25-year-old showed his strength to roll the otherwise faultless Maguire before he clinically dispatched the ball past Schmeichel.

Leicester piled on the pressure in the remainder of the game but this time Liverpool’s defence stood up to the job and held on to clinch the three points.

AFP inputs