Mohamed Salah became a double centurion by netting his 200th goal for club and country on Tuesday, scoring from an impossible angle during a 2-0 win over RB Salzburg that sent Liverpool into the Champions League knockout stages.
Liverpool went into their final Champions League group game away to Salzburg on Tuesday leaders of Group E but still needing a win to be sure of advancing. In the end two goals in two minutes was enough to send them through.
One of those was the 200th goal in Mohamed Salah’s career for his club sides and the Egyptian national team, his second century being marked by a wonder strike from an incredibly tight angle.
The game in the Austrian Alps began at a hectic pace with both sides creating an abundance of chances in the first 45 minutes, it was a shock to anyone watching that both sides entered the break level at 0-0.
In the second half, Salah went tantalizingly close again when he twice uncharacteristically spurned further one on one chances when through on goal moments after the restart.
At the other end, Erling Braut Håland also threatened at goal but he dragged a chance wide of Alisson’s goal, and Red Bull’s attacks were becoming fewer.
Then came the breakthrough. Andy Robertson cushioned the ball down beautifully to set free Sadio Mane who skinned the full back and then showed a sublime turn of pace to reach the ball and cut it back into the area, eliminating the onrushing keeper.
Naby Keita was on hand in the 18-yard box to give a simple leap and nod the ball home on 57 minutes to finally break the deadlock.
Like buses, Liverpool’s goals came one after the other and just one minute later the Merseyside club had doubled their lead when Salah was sent through on goal.
After rounding the goalkeeper it looked as though the Egyptian forward would take a touch and look for a teammate, with the angle looking too tight to even attempt a shot.
However, the Egyptian King isn’t known for his willingness to wilt in the face of a challenge, and instead took his chances, managing to somehow squeeze the ball home with pinpoint accuracy from an cute angle.
The goal also marked a double century of goals in his domestic and international career. It was his 10th shot of the game, and having missed a flurry of clear cut chances, he had scored by far the most demanding of the bunch.
Mohamed Salah misses chance after chance and then buries it at the most impossible of angles. Incredible. Absolutely incredible.
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) December 10, 2019
That was all that was needed for the current European Cup holders to advance as group winners in defense of their title, with the remaining half an hour or so playing out like a training session for The Reds, Jurgen Klopp’s men eventually cruised into the knockout stages.
In the group’s other game, Napoli bettered Genk 4-0 at home courtesy of a first half hat-trick from Arek Milik, who became the first ever Napoli player to net three in one game in the Champions League, and a second-half Dries Mertens penalty to finish second and also go through.
Salzburg will have Europa League football to look forward to next year by virtue of a third-place finish, whereas Belgian side Genk were eliminated having failed to win a single game in their campaign.