Mohamed Salah and Liverpool lost to Arsenal 2-1 away from home with Salah having an off day to all but end his chances of claiming a third Golden Boot in a row as the league’s top scorer.
Liverpool’s goal was scored by Sadio Mane. His strike partner Salah had a night to forget as he appeared extremely tired throughout his 80 minutes on the field. With Jamie Vardy scoring his 23rd goal the week before, as of July 20, it’ll be almost impossible for Salah to catch him in the remaining two games since Salah is on 19 goals now.
However, Salah will be hoping to notch his 20th goal against either Chelsea or Newcastle to make it 20 plus goals in all his three seasons in England which will be an unprecedented achievement for any African or Arab player.
Moving to Aston Villa’s Ahmed Al-Mohamadi and Mahmoud Hassan, or Trezeguet, they’re surely losing sleep nowadays as their hopes of retaining their place in the Premier League suffered a huge setback after conceding a late equaliser against Everton just when they thought they could control their own fate in the remaining two games.
A few days earlier, Villa managed to defeat Crystal Palace 2-0 thanks to Trezeguet’s magnificent game and two goals, but they still needed to defeat Everton away from home to keep their chances of staying in the Premier League alive.
They played a great game and managed to take the lead in the 72nd minute through defender Ezri Konsa and looked on their way to claiming all three points before conceding an equaliser in the 88th minute through Theo Walcott.
Trezeguet played a decent game but didn’t get any real chances to score and was replaced in the 64th minute while Al-Mohamadi played a magnificent game both defensively and in the attacking third.
The draw made a big dent in their hopes as they now have 31 points and are in 19th place, Bournemouth in 18th place, with Watford on 34 points in 17th place.
Villa now need six points from their next two games against Arsenal at home and West Ham away and see what Bournemouth and Watford will do in their games against Southampton, Everton, Man City and Arsenal respectively. A win against Everton would have put them in a completely different place now but Egyptian fans hope a miracle can happen.
On the other hand, somehow luck played a big role in making it a good week for Ahmed Hegazi and West Bromwich.
Hegazi and West Brom looked like they had thrown away their chances of automatic promotion when they lost to Huddersfield away from home 2-1. They went into the game one point ahead of Brentford knowing that maximum points from this game and their last game would guarantee a place in the Premier League next season alongside Leeds United who sealed qualification this week.
However, any result other than a win against Huddersfield would mean Brentford will need a draw against Stoke the following day and a win in their last game to gain automatic promotion thanks to their superior goal difference.
And it seems that fate and luck are favouring West Brom as the in-form Brentford blew their chance as well by losing to Stole City by a single goal. Brentford went into the Stoke City game winning the previous eight league games and knowing that a point will be enough for them after West Brom’s defeat a day before. However, their chance went begging and now West Brom just need to win their final game of the season against QPR to seal their place in the Premier League next season.
Hegazi has been in excellent form recently after reclaiming his place in the starting lineup and will now hope to play the game of his life against QPR to be playing against Salah and the big guns in England in a couple of months.
The coming few days will be crucial for all Egyptian stars in England with Salah and Liverpool receiving the title trophy against Chelsea at Anfield while Al-Mohamadi, Trezeguet and Hegazi are waiting to find out what division they’ll be playing their football in next season.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 23 July, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly