Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah
Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah

Salah’s all-time first in proof Reds have surpassed rivals

IN years gone by, Liverpool's Premier League clash with West Ham would have proven a serious stumbling block for the Reds.

However, as Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane continued a remarkable hot streak, it became ominously clear that this was a side who had learnt from their mistakes.

A club plagued by a penchant to implode against inferior oppositions, Liverpool have transformed under Jurgen Klopp and are now clearly the league's second best side.

While Manchester City have been all conquering this season, the signs are apparent that this Reds team are their biggest opposition in future quests for English dominance and their pursuit of a dynastic reign under Pep Guardiola.

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Klopp's men were ruthless against the Hammers. So much so that when Roberto Firmino found himself through on goal just before the hour mark he didn't even feel the need to watch the ball as he sent it into the net.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian's fellow 'fab three' members joined him on the scoresheet once again, just days after producing the same feat in a Champions League drubbing of Porto.

Salah's 31st goal of the season, a tally which equals Luis Suarez's best season at Anfield, also produced a feat never before seen in the Premier League. The Egyptian's strike was his 20th of the season with his left boot - an accomplishment never before seen in a single campaign in England's top flight.

The explosive attacking prowess of the Reds front three is well documented, but their ability to dismantle defences - fancied or otherwise, is at the heart of a Klopp philosophy which has turned the Merseysiders into a serious contender for honours at both domestic and European level.

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp

In their last five matches in all competitions, Liverpool have scored 16 goals. That's an average of over three goals a game in a period where they've faced Spurs, West Ham and a crucial European tie against a Porto side undefeated in over 20 matches.

Klopp labelled his side "a joy to watch" after the demolition of the Hammers, however for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho it really would have been the opposite.

United have led the chase of City throughout the first 27 match days of the season, but its becoming apparent that their second billing has been usurped by their bitter rivals.

 

 

 

The issues at Old Trafford are well documented - highlighted by a feud between Paul Pogba and Mourinho as the Special One struggles to get the best out of his midfield superstar. But their bigger problem perhaps stems from a slip in the Premier League power rankings.

The Premier League's most successful club take on Chelsea on Monday morning with an opportunity to reclaim second spot on the ladder with a victory.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane, centre, celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal
Liverpool's Sadio Mane, centre, celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal

However, it's a daunting task for the Red Devils, who have beaten the Blues just once in all competitions since October 2012.

It's a match that shapes as a must win for United. With the form of Klopp's rampant Reds looking like continuing, they might not get another chance to regain second spot.

The Reds' four goals against West Ham took their season tally to 103 goals in just 40 matches - the only time they've hit a century quicker was in the famous 2013/14 season where they were just pipped to the title by City.

All across the park, Liverpool are looking like a side capable of competing with the world's - and the Premier League's - best.

The form of fullback Andy Robertson appears to have finally solved their decades long struggle to find a decent left back, while the January addition of Virgil van Dijk has seen a more organised defence.

Liverpool's Scottish defender Andrew Robertson (R)
Liverpool's Scottish defender Andrew Robertson (R)

Its onwards and upwards for the Reds, who will take on Newcastle in their next league match, who have passed yet another test which would often have proved a nightmare in past seasons.
Second place is theirs for the taking, and with Salah and co continuing to rewrite the record books, next season could well see them contesting to climb the final rung on their ascent up the Premier League ladder.


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