The Guardian

Salah swaps unlucky boots to clear Liverpool

Mohamed Salah praised his decision to change his cleats at half-time after scoring two goals in Liverpool's 4-2 win over Newcastle, leaving them three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The Egyptian, playing his final match for his country before playing for his country at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), saw Martin Dubravka save a first-half penalty.

All six goals at Anfield came in the second half, with Salah opening the floodgates with a simple tap-in for the Reds' 150th Premier League goal.

He then contributed to goals from Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo as Jurgen Klopp's side loosened up.

And Salah once again took charge from the penalty spot to grab the point with four minutes remaining.

“The guy who missed the penalty, I just trained with him yesterday. I play with boots a lot, so it's not a superstition, but as soon as it's in your head, it goes away, Buy new boots.

“I don't like going into the second half thinking, 'I haven't scored in the game.' Just change your mind, calm your mind, and focus on your game.”

Salah also said that the idea of ​​going to AFCON spurred him on after failing to score in the second period.

Liverpool achieved a Premier League record for expected goals of 7.53, but Salah was not the only player to be wasteful in front of goal as it took until the final stages of the game to secure victory.

“The players talked at half-time. We have to stay calm and play our own football, we missed a lot of chances and missed penalties. 'I'm leaving the national team because of that performance. 'Is it?',” Salah added.

“I really had to focus and step up and make a difference, and I managed to do that.”

Depending on how far the Pharaohs progress in Ivory Coast, Salah could miss Liverpool's next four Premier League games, including a crucial visit to Arsenal next month.

But on his return, he backed his juniors to get Liverpool back on track to winning the title.

“I am confident that the players will manage to win the match even without me. We have great players of really high quality.

“Anyone can play my position and do what I do. I just wish everyone would be free of the pressure of having to express themselves.”


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