Football

40-goal Salah not done yet, says Klopp

With up to seven games left, Reds boss backs the Egyptian to add to his tally

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah has not finished in his efforts to rewrite the club's goalscoring record books after the Egyptian international took his season's tally to 40 goals in a 3-0 English Premier League victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

But the German also insists that Salah will not be distracted by his quest for the Golden Boot award, as Liverpool seek to end a memorable season by winning the Champions League.

Salah, in his first season at Anfield, became the first Liverpool player since Ian Rush in 1986-87 to reach the 40-goal mark and only the third from the club ever to reach that landmark after Rush and 1966 England World Cup winner Roger Hunt.

But Salah has reached his 40 quicker than either of them and, with up to seven games left for his team, may yet challenge the all-time club record held by Rush, who scored 47 goals in a blistering 1983-84 campaign.

"Really it's 31 years? He doesn't look that old. He must have been 14 when he scored his 40 goals," Klopp joked about Rush, when told Salah had become the first Liverpool player since the Welshman to hit 40.

"But Mo knows what this means and the way we play suits him. For him, for the boys, it's fantastic and today he certainly didn't look like he doesn't want to score in the next few games.

CAN'T FORCE IT

"It's all about him, all about us and how we finish the season. Normally, in that situation, to be top of the goalscoring list at the end and win the Golden Boot... means you have been successful as a team, but we can't force it.

"But it's good, impressive. What a number. Wow!"

There was certainly a "wow" factor about the manner in which Salah claimed his 40th, and the 30th in the league this season, after 69 minutes.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's hanging cross into the Bournemouth area allowed Salah to peel away from his marker Nathan Ake and flick the most perceptive of finishes with his head over goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Either side of Salah's goal were efforts from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, taking their respective Liverpool tallies for the season to 25 and 17, meaning the prolific front three have now combined for an astonishing 82 goals this season.

Firmino's 90th-minute third goal made it 300 for Liverpool in well under three seasons since Klopp took over, but he insisted they can still improve in attacking areas by not always looking for Salah.

Said Klopp: "I have seen the boys looking for Mo, but we have to mix it up a little bit.

"He's the threat, but it's good to analyse it with the boys afterwards... A lot of times we are in a shooting position and they cannot always give the ball to him. We can... use his threat and pass the ball somewhere else." - AFP

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