Salah signs off for AFCON with double and assist, equaling a 20-year standing record

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Jan 2024

Mohamed Salah capped his Liverpool farewell before the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a dominant performance, scoring two goals and assisting another in their 4-2 victory over Newcastle United.

Mohamed Salah
Liverpool s Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle, at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 AP


The Egyptian winger missed a first-half penalty but redeemed himself with a close-range finish in the second half before converting a late spot-kick. He also set up Cody Gakpo for a goal, sending Liverpool top of the Premier League table with 45 points after 20 games.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Salah expressed his determination to improve after missing the early penalty. "At half-time, I was like, 'Do you want to leave for the national team with that performance?' Not really! So I had to really focus, step up and make the difference, and I managed to do so."

Looking ahead to AFCON, Salah declared his ambition for continental glory. "I want to win this competition, I would love to win it," he said. "Every time I step on the field with the national team jersey, it is something I cannot take for granted."

He also voiced confidence in Liverpool's ability to cope with his absence. "I am sure the players will manage to win games. We have fantastic players, really good quality, they just need to keep the pressure away and just play their football. We have players who can play in my position, they can do what I am doing."

Salah's performance consolidates his stellar individual season. He stands alone with 15+ goals (24) and 15+ assists (15) in Europe's top five leagues in 2023, and is the first player in the Premier League since Thierry Henry in 2003 to reach 15 for both goals and assists in a single calendar year.

As he departs for the international stage, Salah leaves Liverpool perched comfortably atop the league and brimming with hope for the rest of the season.

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