Salah for president! Egyptian superstar saves sloppy Liverpool again

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Liverpool's star man came to the rescue once more to earn all three points at Crystal Palace and send out a message to Manchester City

He’s already 'The Egyptian King', and plenty of his countrymen would have him as president if they could .

And if Mo Salah carries on like this, he’ll soon have the freedom of Merseyside too.

Where will this run end? Where will it take Liverpool? Where would Jurgen Klopp’s side be without his goals?

That’s 37 for the season now, if you’ve lost count. Only two Liverpool players have ever scored more in a single campaign – Ian Rush and Roger Hunt. Some company.

The records have been toppling all season long. Here, Salah drew level with Didier Drogba as the second African to score 29 goals in a Premier League season. This was the 21st game he has netted in this term - only Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin Van Persie have managed that before him. Yes, some company. And it’s still only March.

More immediately, his winning goal cements Liverpool’s top-four place on a day when they had looked like coming unstuck. Klopp’s men were far from perfect against a Crystal Palace side that will rue missed chances, but three points at Selhurst Park mean the Reds can watch Sunday’s game between Chelsea and Tottenham with their feet up. A win for Spurs would probably secure Liverpool’s Champions League spot.

That, though, is for next season. This one is still very much alive as far as Liverpool are concerned, with Manchester City next in the crosshairs. Anfield will bounce when Pep Guardiola’s side visit on Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Liverpool are the only Premier League team to beat the league leaders so far this season, and with Salah in their ranks they will believe anything is possible.

Still, those looking for clues ahead of that meeting may have been a little disappointed by what they found here. Guardiola could watch the 90-minute video back, but he’d do well to find something he didn’t know. This is Liverpool; great going one way, susceptible going the other.

Klopp will argue his side deserved the points here after a spirited second-half showing, but they got away with plenty against a Palace side fighting for their lives. On another day, by another striker or another referee, they’d have been punished.

As it is, Christian Benteke let them off the hook twice and Neil Swarbrick refused to show Sadio Mane a second yellow card after the most bizarre of handballs. Had those chances been taken, or that red been brandished, we may be having a different conversation.

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Liverpool defended as Liverpool often defend, haphazardly at times, complacent at others. Virgil van Dijk, one error aside, continues to shine like a beacon, but alongside him his teammates continue to struggle with basics. Such as long balls up to powerful Belgian strikers.

Better, more confident teams than Palace will punish such lapses, and teams don’t come better or more confident than City. Liverpool will look to attack at Anfield, but tightening up is a must against Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and co.

The good news, though, is that Salah keeps on going. And while the smiling Egyptian is wearing Red, then nothing is impossible. Not even the presidency!

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