Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Mohamed Salah is now the club’s first-choice penalty taker after his spot-kick secured Egypt’s place at next year’s World Cup.
Salah put Egypt ahead against Congo only for Arnold Bouka Moutou to equalise. It was Salah who had the final say, though, as his 94th minute penalty meant that Egypt won 2-1 and sealed their progression to the finals for the first time since 1990, sparking wild celebrations.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League game at home to rivals Manchester United, Klopp indicated that Salah is now his preferred penalty taker ahead of James Milner and Roberto Firmino.
Asked about Salah’s achievements on international duty, Klopp told the club’s official website: “Very proud. Did anybody see the six-minute video summary of the game?
“I never saw a celebration like this for 1-0 after 60 minutes – I thought it was a Golden Goal in a World Cup final!
“Then, after 87 minutes they made the equaliser, obviously not a nice moment. Then, 94 minutes, I never saw a celebration of a penalty like this until someone said, ‘by the way, we still have to score’.
“I nearly had a heart attack, I thought I had to go down there and take the situation. But he did it and I would say in this moment he is our No.1 penalty taker.
“That pressure was unbelievable, he did really well, and after 27 years it’s fantastic news for Egypt.
“That’s a really good generation that they have there and they should go to the World Cup but, how it always is, first you have to be qualified. Now they are there it’s obviously a good moment.”
Salah has made an excellent start to his Liverpool career after joining from Roma. He has scored four goals in seven Premier League appearances and has also been successful with 83 per cent of the take-ons that he has attempted.
Liverpool have been awarded two penalties so far this season, with Firmino, who takes the spot-kicks when Milner isn’t on the pitch, scoring once and missing once.