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Watch out Vardy! Relentless Salah not giving up Golden Boot chase

22:39 BST 08/07/2020
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool, Jamie Vardy overlay, Leicester
The Egypt international might be three goals behind the Leicester City frontman in the goalscoring standings, but he cannot be ruled out of the race

'Operation Record Breaker' is still in business.  

Liverpool’s historic campaign continues. The Premier League champions remain on course for that magic 100-point season after seeing off a spirited Brighton side on Wednesday night.

And Mohamed Salah remains in the hunt for a third successive Golden Boot award too. 

The Egypt international scored twice as the Reds ran out 3-1 winners at the Amex Stadium. With 19 league goals, he sits three behind Jamie Vardy in the standings. You can bet your life he will be going all out to eclipse the Leicester man in Liverpool’s final four fixtures. 

He was too good for Brighton here, profiting from the hosts’ slackness and Naby Keita’s sharpness to give his side the lead with a clinical finish inside six minutes.

It was Liverpool's first away goal - in any competition - since February, and two minutes later they had another, Salah setting up captain Jordan Henderson for a fine swept finish from 20 yards.

That took Salah to 99 goal involvements in the Premier League for Liverpool, and he would reach the century before the night was finished, timing his arrival perfectly to meet substitute Andy Robertson’s corner at the near post for 3-1. "We worked on that," he admitted afterwards. It was only his fourth headed goal for the club.

That is 73 league goals, to go with his 27 assists, in 104 league appearances since arriving at Anfield. Some player.

He might have had more before the end, too. 

“His numbers are scary,” said Anfield legend Jamie Carragher in the Sky Sports commentary box. "He was 'at it' tonight," added Graeme Souness. Salah, unsurprisingly, picked up the Man of the Match award. 

He is relentless, the 28-year-old. He loves being the main man at Anfield, and his appetite for glory, both personal and collective, is insatiable. "He wants that Golden Boot," grinned Souness. He can say that again.

Salah grimaced when Mat Ryan got a good hand to his late effort, and even more so when, with the last act of the game, he headed a glorious chance over the bar. Great goalscorers are never satisfied, and Salah is exactly that.

"I think I have good numbers since I came here," he smiled afterwards. "Let's go for the next one." 

Good advice.

And so Liverpool march on. That is 30 wins now for the season – no team has ever reached that landmark quicker in the history of English football. They equalled another club record here, picking up their 13th away league win of the campaign.

They need nine points from their final four fixtures to surpass Manchester City’s record top-flight points total, and you would be foolish to back against them. They showed here, as they have many times this season, that they do not even need to be at their best to win games with a bit to spare. 

They were cruising at 2-0, but were asked questions by a bright and lively Brighton side as the first half wore on, the home side pulling a goal back through Tariq Lamptey’s cross and Leandro Trossard’s fine finish. 

Liverpool did not always defend well – Joe Gomez was poor, while teenage full-back Neco Williams was substituted at half-time having been drafted in for his first Premier League start. "We didn't protect him well enough," said Klopp, who insisted Williams' withdrawal was solely down to the fact he was on a yellow card.

With Salah on song, the visitors always looked like they had too much left in the tank, especially when they were able to introduce the likes of Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Fabinho from the bench.

They can reflect, too, on a promising hour from Naby Keita, whose pressing led to the first two goals. The Guinea international is one of the players with something to prove in these remaining games, and the signs here were promising indeed.

As for Salah, well we know what to expect from him. Always.

"Let's take it game by game," he grinned when asked about the Golden Boot afterwards. The smell of goals is in his nostrils. It always is.

Vardy, you've been warned.

The hunt is on.