Jurgen Klopp

Salah “on his way” to Messi’s level

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Mohamed Salah scored four goals on Saturday and grabbed an assist as Liverpool beat Watford 5-0 in the Premier League.

It was special. But it was almost as if we’d come to expect this. He is one of those players you pay the entrance fee alone to watch and most PL defenders spend the 90 minutes watching him run by them.

Following the stunning display from the Egyptian winger, Jurgen Klopp was asked about the current level Salah is at as he now leads the PL scoring charts with 28 goals and is the highest scoring Liverpool player ever in a debut season at Anfield with 36 in all competitions.

“I don’t think Mo wants to be compared with Lionel Messi,” Klopp said. “Messi has been doing what he’s been doing for what feels like 20 years or so. The last player I know who had the same influence on a team performance was Diego Maradona. But Mo is in a fantastic way, that’s for sure. As it always is in life, if you have to have the skills you have to show that constantly and consistently, and he is very good.”

Salah’s rise to prominence has been hugely unexpected with the $50 million Liverpool paid to Roma for his services last summer raising plenty of eyebrows.

That transfer fee now seems like a bargain.

The 25-year-old who struggled to break through at Chelsea after arriving from Basel as a youngster is now, like Messi, a genuine global superstar. Everyone knew he was quick and nimble around the box as a winger but nobody expected these gaudy numbers and this kind of output in his debut season at Liverpool.

With Liverpool facing Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League last eight, plenty of City’s defenders will already be having sleepless nights as to how to stop Salah.

Sitting in third place in the table with seven games to go and in the latter stages of the UCL, Liverpool have a hugely talented squad with the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino consistently delivering goals and assists and Klopp’s project is kicking on.

But like Messi at Barcelona, one man helps Liverpool climb above the rest: Salah.

On this form Kevin De Bruyne will have a serious run for his money when it comes to the player of the year awards in England this season.

Salah is still some way off Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of consistent excellence as his subdued display at Manchester United showed last weekend. However, he is getting towards that level and the Egyptian wizard is in the perfect team for his talents to flourish.

Liverpool 5-0 Watford: Salah runs riot

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  • Salah now leads PL with 28 goals, has 36 in all competitions
  • Liverpool rise to third in PL table
  • Watford eight points above bottom three

Liverpool beat Watford 5-0 at Anfield on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp‘s men eased to victory in the snow and are now seven points clear of fifth-place Chelsea in the table.

Mohamed Salah scored four goals to secure his first hat trick for Liverpool and he set up Roberto Firmino for Liverpool’s other goal. The Egyptian is now the leading scorer in the Premier League with 28 for the season.

With the win Liverpool cement their spot in the top four and have 63 points with seven games to go, while Watford slip to 11th but are well clear of relegation trouble and have 36 points on the board.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

It took Liverpool less than four minutes to break the deadlock as Sadio Mane found Salah in the box and the Egyptian winger did the rest.

Salah cut past multiple Watford defenders with ease before slotting home coolly for his 25th goal of the Premier League season. 1-0 to the Reds.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

After that goal arrived Liverpool at back and looked dangerous with Roberto Firmino denied by an excellent stop from Karnezis after being played clean through.

Watford grew in stature as the first half wore on but then Salah popped up with his and Liverpool’s second of the game. Mane found Robertson on the left and his cross found Salah unmarked at the back post to tap home. 2-0. Too easy.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Liverpool started the second half well and Salah caused havoc as he cut inside from the right and his cross found Firmino at the near post. The Brazilian forward flicked home with his back heel to make it 3-0 and put the result beyond doubt. Another majestic Liverpool goal.

Pereyra almost got a goal back for Watford straight after going 3-0 down but his whipped free kick from the left clipped the cross bar and went over.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

For the latter stages Liverpool kept the ball and created chances when they wanted to as Salah completed his hat trick in fine fashion. The Egyptian wriggled free of four Watford players, cut back twice and slotted home to make it 4-0. Salah is on another planet.

Danny Ings came on late in the game and his shot was well-saved by Karnezis and then Ings was denied by Karnezis soon after but that man Salah was there to clean up and net his fourth of the game and make it 5-0.

Watch Live: Liverpool v. Watford

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Liverpool host Watford at Anfield on Saturday (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with Jurgen Klopp‘s men aiming to go third in the Premier League table.


With Liverpool’s other top four rivals Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea all in FA Cup action this weekend, this is a chance for the Reds to give themselves some breathing space.

Javi Gracia and Watford know the pressure is off as they sit in 10th place in the table and they will see this game as a free hit.

In team news Liverpool bring in Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum into the starting lineup.

Watford bring in Britos for Janmaat.




Klopp “angry” at fixture time switches around UCL matches

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What’s five hours on a match day?

For Jurgen Klopp, the answer is a lot.

[ MORE: Liverpool “not the favorites” vs. City ]

While most were expecting to discuss Liverpool’s draw of Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals — and they got that, too — Klopp used part of his Friday press conference to complain about the shifting of the Premier League kickoff time between the two legs.

Klopp’s Liverpool will now contest the Merseyside Derby in the early match on April 7 instead of April 8, with the Manchester Derby staged five hours later.

Derbies and the UCL
April 4 – Liverpool vs. Manchester City
April 7 – Everton vs. Liverpool — 7:30 a.m. ET
April 7 – Manchester City vs. Manchester United — 12:30 p.m. ET
April 10 – Manchester City vs. Liverpool

This, of course, also gives Liverpool five more hours rest than Man City, but Klopp’s not going to let that get in the way of his narrative.

“I know countries where they cancel whole match days so teams can be in the best shape. We play Wednesday night against Manchester City and then play Everton at 1230 three days later. That’s not too cool but obviously we have to go the hard way, I am used to that.

“We play Wednesday night and then at 1230 means the players get up on Thursday and have lunch or breakfast and then we train and next day we are on second-day recovery and then you start at 1230.

“It is not perfect. We take it like it is but if I cannot be angry about something like that anymore and have to be politically correct and say nothing then I am dead because that doesn’t work.”

Moving the matches is interesting, but would only serve to congest both sides’ schedules at another time, so… Whatever, Jurgen. He’s one of the most colorful characters in the football world, so we’re happy he exists, but if these words were coming out of Jose Mourinho’s mouth the world would be frothing at his attitude.

Keeping in mind that derbies are derbies and both of these are fierce ones, maybe Pep Guardiola should mention that Klopp has to go against Sam Allardyce and Everton in between fixtures while Pep matches wits with Jose Mourinho with (probably) a chance to clinch the Premier League.

Klopp: Liverpool “for sure not the favorites” vs. Man City

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Jurgen Klopp says “it’s not too cool for England,” but it’s just fine for him.

Klopp’s Liverpool will face Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals beginning April 4 at Anfield and concluding April 10 at the Etihad Stadium (Full draw here).

[ MORE: Arsenal avoids Atleti ]

The draw means only one Premier League side can reach the semis, as City and Liverpool could’ve drawn much better than each other.

The Liverpool Echo transcribed Klopp’s talk with the Reds’ web site.

“We’ve lost once and we’ve won once against them in the league – and I don’t think they thought before the best draw they could have got is Liverpool. That’s a sign for us and how strong we can be.”

“We are for sure not the favorites in this round, but in the last eight there are not a lot of favorites – maybe two of them, Bayern and Barcelona – but thank God it’s football and nothing is decided.”

Man City gets the Manchester Derby sandwiched between the legs, while remarkably Liverpool has the Merseyside Derby.