Salah’s 50th goal in English football came courtesy of a smart low finish, as he put away Xherdan Shaqiri’s through ball in the 24th minute to dampen a mood matching Huddersfield’s bright start.
Mohamed Salah ended his worst scoring run in a Liverpool shirt to decide a hard-fought victory at Huddersfield that helped his side keep up with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
The Egypt forward was visibly buoyed, having failed to score in his previous four appearances, but as a team it was Huddersfield who reacted more positively as they twice came close to equalising before half-time.
Captain Jonathan Hogg smashed a long-range drive against the post before Alex Pritchard was marginally offside when lifting a finish past Alisson, while a penalty appeal for handball against James Milner was turned down.
After the break, Laurent Depoitre saw a header well held with his side’s first shot on target, while Salah fired wide when presented with a tough chance to finish at speed on the counter attack. There was a league debut for the Reds’ £39m former Monaco midfielder Fabinho but even with his introduction Liverpool failed to ever totally assume control of a tie substitute Steve Mounie almost snatched away from them.
With eight minutes to play, the Benin striker rashly blazed over from inside the box after a cross spilled through unconvincing blocks from Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren. Victory sees Jurgen Klopp’s side move level on points with fellow joint leaders City. They trail Pep Guardiola’s side on goal difference, with the defending champions 10 goals ahead.
Huddersfield, who last season defied the odds to avoid relegation, remain without a victory this term and are now two points from safety in 19th.
One is touch enough – just
This was not a vintage performance from a side who many recognise as the most likely challengers to City, but having drawn away to Chelsea and at home to the defending champions in their previous two league games, getting three points was what mattered most.
Without regulars Sadio Mane and Naby Keita – both were injured over the international break – at times the link-up play between midfield an attack was flat, and there were plenty of errors in possession. In fact, Liverpool made the most misplaced passes they have all season – 111 – a statistic which also helps reflect Huddersfield‘s combative display.
David Wagner’s side often forced errors, but the home side were lacking in quality when chances presented themselves. The same was not true of the Reds in the one moment that ultimately mattered.
Salah’s goal, tucked home first-time from Shaqiri’s clever pass decided the contest, as this Liverpool team became the first in the club’s history to concede as few as three goals in the opening nine matches of a league campaign.
The dry run goes on
Huddersfield are now without victory in 13 league games, having drawn five and lost eight since a 1-0 victory at home to Watford on 14 April. And having failed to score once more, they equalled a top-flight record by going five consecutive home fixtures from the beginning of a season without a goal.
Might things have turned out differently? Had Hogg’s blistering strike found net instead of post, they may well have grown further and capitalised against a side that looked vulnerable despite their lead.
In the end, Depoitre’s 55th-minute header was the Terriers’ only attempt on target and it was a comfortable save for Alisson. Mounie appeared to lose his head when presented with a golden chance to equalise late on.
Only Huddersfield and bottom club Newcastle have failed to win since August’s opening day, and neither can rely on the poor form of those around them any longer.
Source: BBC News