Any supporter of either Liverpool or Manchester United will be the first to tell you that form means nothing in any matchup between the two eternal rivals. In truth, it is often the less dominant of the two at that particular time that relishes the role of giant killer with many results going other than most would’ve thought.
And so Liverpool found themselves on January 19: the undisputed best team on the planet, a whopping 27 points ahead of their neighbors in the table and 1-0 up at home over this muddled mess of a United squad—but with the match and the crowd somehow still on edge coming into the final frame. In fact, the Red Devils were looking the favorite to score the next goal, as they desperately sought to bookend the result from the reverse fixture that produced the one blemish on their rivals 100% record on the season to that point.
With the ball going out for a corner, (in retrospect, hard to believe we were actually worried that a team that went six months without a goal scored from a corner was actually *shakes head*), Liverpool’s world class goalkeeper, Alisson Becker collects with ease and spots Mohamed Salah leaking out in anticipation of a counterattack.
The Egyptian was well ahead of the last defender but, as the quick-thinking Alisson noticed, was still in his own half and therefore not offside. Out went a sure-footed side volley up the pitch, hitting the speedy winger with room to spare. With only the keeper to beat but with United defender Diego Dalot draped over him, Salah displayed his trademark strength to hold his marker off the final 20 yards before calmly slotting past the hapless David De Gea.
The rippling of the net was start of the party as the Kop in full voice for the first time in 30 years burst into refrains of ‘We’re going to win the league. We’re going to win the league’.
Memories of that moment surely played a part as Liverpool supporters voted the 93rd-minute strike as goal of the month, beating out the likes of Curtis Jones’ stunner to lead the baby Reds in humiliating local rivals Everton in the FA Cup, as well as Roberto Firmino’s excellent individual to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers.