Liverpool proven right in huge transfer decision - and Tottenham fury shows it

Clearly Mohamed Salah should have public spats with his manager more often.

The Liverpool forward had suggested there would “be fire” if he commented in the immediate aftermath of last weekend’s unseemly touchline tiff with Jurgen Klopp at West Ham United.

With the Reds’ Premier League title challenge having effectively been extinguished by an avoidable draw that followed a series of poor results, critics were keen to apportion blame.

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And that Liverpool’s most high-profile figures were spotted in visible disagreement was all the fuel needed to highlight Salah’s indifferent form since returning from injury that meant he was bench at the London Stadium. For some, Salah’s race at Anfield is now run, Saudi Arabia next stop.

Not so. Liverpool are planning for Salah being in situ next season and here the Egyptian was back in the starting line-up. And, in trademark fashion, he didn’t waste any time in underlining why he remains the Reds’ most potent attacking threat. This was Salah back on fire.

He had already struck the crossbar with a cross with the outside of his foot when, on 16 minutes, he ghosted in at the far post to convert Cody Gakpo’s inviting cross. On the stroke of half-time, it was his shot that was parried by Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario for Andy Robertson to convert the Reds’ second, and Salah could claim an assist when inviting Harvey Elliott to run on and smash home the fourth.

The Egyptian now has 25 goals for the season – 18 in the Premier League – along with 14 assists. That’s 39 goal contributions in 42 appearances, not bad for a player who was absent for two months. Salah was even able to laugh off a remarkable miss from close range in the second half.

It helped that his marker Emerson Royal was so accommodating, leading to the Tottenham defender getting it in the neck from team-mate Cristian Romero as the players went off at half-time, Vicario having to physically intervene before tempers boiled over further.

But that is what Salah can do to opponents, as has been shown repeatedly during the last seven years at Anfield.

And barring some unexpected transfer machinations this summer, there will be an eighth under incoming manager Arne Slot next season. Salah is still Liverpool’s main man in attack.