Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Mohamed Salah’s incredible goalscoring form was sparked off by the goal that sent Egypt to the World Cup in October.
Salah notched his 37th of the season against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with his strike coming just six minutes from time to win the game 2-1 .
The former Roma man is the front-runner for the Premier League Golden Boot thanks to his 29 league strikes this season, and he also leads the way in the European Golden Shoe rankings across the whole of Europe.
And Klopp puts it all down to the penalty he scored against Congo six months ago, when the German was watching the match on television.
A late Congo equaliser looked to have cost Egypt their chance to qualify for their first World Cup since 1990, only for them to be awarded a 93rd minute penalty.
“The best thing was how Egypt celebrated getting the penalty,” said Klopp after the Crystal Palace win.
“I’ve never seen that in my life. Germany in 1990 didn’t celebrate winning the World Cup like this. And they only got the penalty – then they thought ‘Someone actually has to shoot’. That was real pressure.”
With a nation watching on, Salah then stepped up and fired an effort low into the bottom corner, even though Klopp could barely watch, saying “I nearly had a heart attack”.
But despite the Reds manager’s delight following the goal, Salah’s prowess from 12 yards wasn’t immediately apparent.
“That’s why he got the next penalty at Liverpool. and he missed it,” joked Klopp, referencing the penalty Salah had saved by Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl at Anfield three weeks after his Egypt winner.
“That was not too good.
“But we all have these game-changer moments in our life and maybe that was one of his. If you deliver in a situation like this, this is what can happen to you.”
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