Liverpool - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes talk of
Mohamed Salah's early-season slump will be quashed by the Egyptian's double in
a 4-0 win over Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday that took his tally for the club
to 50 goals.
Salah ended a four-game goal drought with the winner at
Huddersfield on Saturday and looked more like his old self in scoring either
side of half-time.
Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were also on target as
Liverpool's prolific front three that led them to the Champions League final
last season all scored in the same game for this first time this campaign.
"It's good that we can maybe stop talking about that a
little bit," said Klopp. "I was not in doubt, he was not in doubt,
but if you are constantly asked about it, you think something is up."
Salah has reached his half-century quicker than any other
player in Liverpool history after just 65 appearances for the Reds.
"It's great, I'm happy to score my 50th goal,"
said Salah despite his muted celebrations.
"We know how to play with each other and know our
qualities," he added of his combination with Firmino and Mane refinding
Liverpool are now back on top of Champions League Group C as
Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli drew 2-2 in the French capital, but all three
sides remain separated by just two points.
"We are not through yet. This group obviously stays
exciting until the end, I think that was clear from the draw," added
Klopp. "But you cannot do more than win your own games."
Liverpool had struggled for goals in recent weeks with a
new-found defensive stability instead keeping them level on points with
Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
Klopp tinkered with his preferred 4-3-3 system by moving
Salah centrally as the focal point of a 4-2-3-1 and his decision to hand
Xherdan Shaqiri a start paid off as the Swiss added some much-needed creativity
Shaqiri's pass played Andy Robertson in behind the Red Star
defence and his cross was converted by Firmino for his first goal in eight
games to get Liverpool off the mark.
Salah then took centre stage to take his tally for the new
season to six despite a slow start sparking concern he would not meet the
standards of his incredible 44-goal debut campaign at Anfield.
He fired home from another neat touch by Shaqiri to give
Klopp's men breathing space before half-time and then from the penalty spot
after German referee Daniel Siebert awarded a very soft spot-kick for Filip
Stojkovic's challenge on Mane.
Klopp then withdrew Salah before Liverpool's second penalty
of the night to rob him the chance of a hat-trick when Milos Degenek handled
inside the area.
Mane missed his opportunity in Salah's absence as Milan
Borjan turned his penalty onto the crossbar.
However, the Senegalese made amends 10 minutes from time by
stabbing home Daniel Sturridge's pass.