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Salah brings back memories
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 06 - 12 - 2018

If you don't remember who finished last season as the Premier League's top scorer you can just check the current leading goal scorer and he's the same exact player. His name is Mohamed Salah. Back to his very best, Salah destroyed a usually strong Bournemouth side on their home ground on Saturday as he scored a breathtaking hat-trick to guide Liverpool to the summit of the league table for the first time since game week two. Liverpool moved one point up after Manchester City suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in London, the same day Liverpool destroyed Bournemouth 4-0.
And it wasn't just Liverpool who topped the charts after this game. Last season's best player and top scorer, Salah became the leading goal scorer of this campaign so far after his magnificent hat-trick, joining Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at 10 goals apiece. Salah had seven goals and four assists before this game while Aubameyang had 10 goals and three assists going into this game week. It was expected that Aubameyang who was facing Huddersfield at home would widen the gap with his rivals but he just managed to assist the only goal of the game while Salah scored his hat-trick earlier in the day to confirm he's back to his very best in case anyone doubted it.
The first goal came in the 25th minute when Salah followed up Roberto Firmino's shot into the back of the net after Asmir Begovic's weak save. In all honesty Salah was in an offside position when Firmino took his shot but every big player needs some luck to complement his talent.
The second goal was pure quality as Salah received the ball just inside Bournemouth's half and ran their defence ragged as they failed to close him down until he slotted the ball home into the far corner underneath Natah Ake's legs in the 48th minute.
Salah offers Milner the MOM award
An own goal in the 68th minute sealed the game for the visitors before Salah completed his three goals with the goal of the night. Having got in behind Steve Cook to pick up a pass as he ran in from the right touchline, Salah had the goal at his mercy. Begovic advanced to narrow the angle and Salah rounded and planted the goalkeeper on his backside not once, but twice in quick succession before eventually picking his spot and burying the ball inside the bottom corner. Back on the goal line, Ake was helpless to stop it.
It's fair to say this was a perfect day for Salah as he and his team ended the day topping the charts after Chelsea managed to down Man City against all the odds. The icing on the cake was the refusal of Salah to take his Man of the Match award, saying it should go to his teammate James Milner who was making his 500th Premier League appearance against Bournemouth. Milner reluctantly accepted the award of his friend and teammate.
Next for Salah and Liverpool is probably their most important game of the season as they host Napoli in the Champions League group stage game (before Al-Ahram Weekly comes out) knowing they must win either 1-0 or win by a two-goal margin if Napoli manage to score. Liverpool will need another vintage performance from Salah who's yet to score against any of the big teams this season in contrast to last season when he scored against every big team he faced save Manchester United.
People who labelled Salah as a one-season wonder are surely eating their words by now. A big performance against Napoli will ensure Salah is still one of the best in England, Europe and the world.


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