Salah captures his moment as thrill-seeking Liverpool move back in front


Pity those who don’t love football.

You can keep your Netflix. Forget your skydiving and your rock-climbing. Don’t bother with bungee jumping or white-water rafting.

No, for sheer, unfiltered drama. For seat-of-your-pants thrills, for terror and torment and the moments you’ll never forget, come to the Premier League, come to the title race.

Come to watch Liverpool, the game’s ultimate thrill-seekers.

There won’t be a fingernail left on Merseyside if this continues. The Premier League title race is still alive, but once more the Reds had to drag themselves away from the edge of the cliff to keep it that way.

As the stakes rise, Jurgen Klopp’s side simply refuse to take the easy route.

Their latest act of escapology came at St Mary’s, where they were tormented by a Southampton side fighting a battle of their own. Theirs is at the bottom of the table, but they very nearly had a say at the other end. Amid a noisy, colourful atmosphere, the Saints very nearly threw a favour Manchester City’s way.

They led through Shane Long, capitalising on a nervy, error-strewn start from Liverpool. For 20 minutes, Klopp’s team were as bad as they have been all season. Fortunate last weekend, was this to be the night their luck finally ran out?

Not quite. We should know better than to write off this team. They take the hits and they get back up. They were stunned by Long, but as they have all season, they found a way to win.

Heroes emerged, some familiar, some unlikely. Naby Keita chose the best possible time to score his first goal for the club, equalising before half-time.

And then, as the time ebbed away and the stress levels rose, Mohamed Salah found the goal which sparked incredible, unforgettable scenes in the away end.

The Egyptian’s goalscoring drought had looked like stretching into a ninth game. He’d been shackled and ruffled, harried and hurried.

And then, with just 10 minutes remaining, came his moment.

Collecting a headed pass from Jordan Henderson, 15 yards inside his own half, Salah set off for goal. Southampton had been attacking from a corner, but they were left retreating as Salah ran at them. Roberto Firmino, busting a gut, got up alongside him to his left, making a two-on-one situation. Salah had to pass it, surely.

He did. With his left foot, right into the bottom left-hand corner of Angus Gunn’s goal.

It was his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool. He has reached that mark faster than anybody in the club’s history. He’s scored some big ones, Salah, but this could be as important as any. It sparked bedlam.

Just for good measure Henderson, introduced as substitute early in the second-half, capped a terrific cameo with his first of the season late on. The captain’s celebration, face contorted with a mix of joy and relief, spoke for his supporters. They want this, Liverpool. They want it bad.

It’s still there for them, too. With five games to go, they are in the driving seat once more. Manchester City, who would have been watching with glee for 80 minutes, will have grimaced at the last 10.

This team just doesn’t want to give in. Not just yet, anyway. Every time they reach the cliff face, they pull themselves back.

They’re terrifying at times, but Liverpool giving these fans the ride of their life.

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