Egypt's Salah scores sublime goal as Liverpool draw with Everton

Ahram Online and Reuters , Sunday 10 Dec 2017

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool vs Everton - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - December 10, 2017 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their first goal Reuters

A sublime strike from Egypt's effervescent winger Mohamed Salah took him one goal clear on top of the Premier League scorers' chart as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

Salah netted his 13th league goal this term to fire Liverpool in front three minutes before the break, going one goal clear of Tottenham's in-form striker Harry Kane.

He out-muscled his challenger on the right, tricked another inside the area and sent a trademark curling shot beyond the despairing dive of Everton keeper Jordan Pickford.

Salah took his tally to 19 goals in 24 appearances with Liverpool since his summer arrival from AS Roma.

Everton captain Wayne Rooney scored for the first time in a Merseyside derby with a late penalty to take an unlikely point in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

With the snow swirling, Rooney sent the 77th-minute spot kick straight down the middle after Dominic Calvert-Lewin went down following a push in the back by Croatian defender Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool stayed fourth with 30 points, 13 adrift of leaders Manchester City who were playing later at second-placed Manchester United. Chelsea are third on 32 with Sam Allardyce's Everton moving up to 10th.

'Soft penalty' 

While Salah's goal was a breathtaking effort, the penalty left Klopp far from speechless with the German taking issue with the referee's decision after Dejan Lovren was adjudged to have pushed Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the back.

Lovren was still protesting with officials after the final whistle while Klopp argued with a Sky Sports television interviewer.

Asked what he had said to the referee, Klopp replied: "That I don't understand what he's doing. That's what I said. I didn't use one swearing word."

The German, who defended his decision to take off Salah with 22 minutes remaining, refused to accept it had been a penalty and said his side had been the only ones trying to win.

"The other team was not even in our box, I don't know if they had a shot on target apart from the penalty. To give them an open door like this, in my understanding, that's not OK," he added.

Klopp said Lovren had not even made a challenge.

"Calvert-Lewin makes a step...the hand is like this on the back, you saw it," continued the manager. "If you think it is a penalty do it, say it."

When told that it looked a soft one, Klopp laughed out loud. "So, then we can stop the interview because I only want to talk to people that have a little bit of understanding of football."

He later apologised, adding: "There are greater catastrophes on this planet than getting a point after a game like this but it feels not too good."

Klopp's side are now unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions, and stretched their unbeaten run against Everton in all competitions to a record-equalling 15 games.

But the manager's team selection was called into question after he left Brazilians Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino out of the starting lineup. Firmino eventually came on for Salah.

Everton enjoyed only 21 percent of possession in the game while Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson completed more passes (60) in the first half -- than all of the visiting players put together.

Allardyce said it was a huge point and had no doubt the penalty call was correct, with the referee "very brave" in his decision.

"Our defensive shape as a team was extremely good today and stopped one of the most fluent, attacking goalscoring sides probably in Europe," said the former England manager.

"Twelve goals in two games they've scored and a brilliant goal today from Salah to get 1-0 up. But I can't honestly say they had too many clear-cut chances after that.

"While we didn't do too much in possession, we completely and utterly shut Liverpool down from an attacking force and waited for what had to be just one opportunity." 

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