There were several moments in the first half where the magic of the second half and the two Mohamed Salah goals didn’t really seem forthcoming. Then, suddenly, Liverpool remembered exactly why they’re champions of England and we saw what surely is going to be the goal of the season.
When asked about That Goal—and the fact that Salah is now the first player since Ian Rush to score 20+ goals in four consecutive seasons for the club—Klopp was pleased but not surprised.
“I’m not surprised,” he told the club’s website. “I work on a daily basis together with him and he will never stop having a massive desire for scoring goals. For sure not. He is a world-class player, there is no doubt about that. How I said in the last few weeks when we didn’t score that many, the only thing you can do is try and try and try again.”
This was Salah’s first (and second) goal since December and a lot of fans and pundits—despite Salah being the league’s top goalscorer—were convinced he was in his last legs. The frustration of not finding the back of the net has been palpable in his games since December 19th’s 7-0 game against Crystal Palace, and Klopp believes part of the reason Salah finally got on the scoreboard was because he wasn’t trying as hard.
“You have to make good decisions, or better decisions,” Klopp added. “Tonight he didn’t force it. As I said, the first goal was a proper smart goal and in the last few weeks he probably would have tried to shoot through the legs or whatever, but this [tonight] was really keeping the overview and chipping the ball into the far corner. Top-class goal.”
Hopefully we’ll keep seeing the magic happen when Liverpool take on Brighton on Wednesday.