WINDHOEK, OCT 1 – Egyptian Mohamed Salah continueD to struggle for form, on a weekend of Premier League action which saw his Liverpool side drop points for the first time and lose top spot on the log to champions Manchester City.
Salah spurned several good chances for the Reds as they were held 1-1 by fellow title hopefuls Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the late game on Saturday. The Blues went ahead through a fine goal from Eden Hazard, but the Reds – who also featured Sadio Mane and Naby Keita – struck back late on through a brilliant goal from Daniel Sturridge.
‘Pool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he is not worried over Salah’s form – even though the Egyptian was the man he pulled off to replace with Sturridge in the second half.
“It’s always tactical,” Klopp said of his decision to withdraw Salah. “He was not injured. I know you will make a fuss of it, but that’s football. It was not the best game of Mo’s career, that’s 100 percent.
“But coming into a game like this, constantly in [potentially scoring] situations, that makes him a world-class player. You fail, you miss, that happens – I’ve no problem with that. But he wants to be decisive. He wants to score in these situations.
“It is like riding a bike. It is not like you wake up in the morning and you cannot finish any more, or you cannot ride a bike any more. You need to work for these moments when it is clicking. And that is the moment he is in.”
The draw at Stamford Bridge means Man City are the new league leaders, with their 2-0 home win over Yves Bissouma’s Brighton & Hove Albion pushing them into pole position, while Arsenal continued their revival and moved into the top five with a 2-0 home win over Watford in which Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi put in an impressive showing off the bench.
Manchester United have sunk to even lower depths under Jose Mourinho after they meekly succumbed 3-1 away to Arthur Masuaku’s West Ham United, Idrissa Gueye got the better of Jean Michael Seri as Everton whipped Fulham 3-0, and Tottenham Hotspur claimed fourth spot on the log with their 2-0 away win at Steve Mounie’s Huddersfield Town.
Christian Atsu and Mohamed Diame both featured for Newcastle United as they succumbed 0-2 at home to a Leicester City team featuring Wilfred Ndidi, Daniel Amartey and Kelechi Iheanacho, Mario Lemina’s Southampton were overpowered at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunday’s lone match saw Cardiff City (featuring Bruno Ecuele and Sol Bamba in defence) succumb 2-1 at home to a rejuvenated Burnley.
The round wraps up with a clash on Monday night in which Ivorian attacker Wilfried Zaha will again be the key man for Crystal Palace when they head to the south coast for an away match against Bournemouth.
Premier League results, 29 September – 1 October
Saturday 29 September
13:30: West Ham United 3-1 Manchester United
16:00: Arsenal 2-0 Watford
16:00: Everton 3-0 Fulham
16:00: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
16:00: Manchester City 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
16:00: Newcastle United 0-2 Leicester City
16:00: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Southampton
18:30: Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool
Sunday 30 September
17:00: Cardiff City 1-2 Burnley – Contributed