The MNF pundits underline the importance of Mohamed Salah, with Gary Neville saying his team-mates must step up while he’s at the Africa Cup of Nations to keep the Reds in the Premier League title race, and Jamie Carragher picking out two players who could fill his spot while he’s away.
The Reds moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League with the win over Newcastle, with a five-point gap on Man City, who have a game in hand, and Arsenal, two of their main rivals for the crown.
Salah has played a big role in Liverpool’s run to the top of the table, with 14 goals and eight assists to his name from 20 appearances this season.
But now the pressure is on fellow attackers Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo to pick up the burden while Salah is away on international duty in January. That trio have just 13 Premier League goals between them.
“In the first half against Newcastle, you wondered whether it was going to be similar to the Manchester United game a couple of weeks ago where they had 30-odd shots in that match and couldn’t score a goal but they were far better tonight,” said Neville, on the Gary Neville Podcast after the match.
On the flipside of it, Liverpool have got great options up top and they’ve got one star player who connects it all together in Mohamed Salah.
“Liverpool have got three world-class players in Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Salah. Van Dijk has been back to his best in this past month or two. Liverpool’s defensive record has been good and they’ve kept a lot of clean sheets. Alisson is the best goalkeeper in the world and they’ve got somebody who hits numbers from a wide area that is so consistent and delivers year in, year out. It’s unbelievable. If they keep those three fit, they’re in with a massive chance.
When Jurgen Klopp first came to Liverpool, I really liked watching them. They were really frantic, there was loads of pressing and it was fast.
Sometimes, you didn’t quite know what was happening, and sometimes the players didn’t either.
“It lacked composure but it was exciting – heavy metal football as he called it. Then it became really smooth along with that electricity and it became a wonderful team that was going head-to-head with Manchester City for a few years.