Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Jurgen Klopp pleased to quiet Mohamed Salah talk after Liverpool double

The sweetest gift? Mo Salah gives shirt to fan for chocolate present after UCL win (PHOTOS/VIDEO) Klopp hails 'genius' Shaqiri as Reds ease past Red Star Belgrade
Jeannette Daniel | 27 October, 2018, 19:10

Fabinho's impressive display in Liverpool's midweek Champions League success has left his manager Jurgen Klopp with a hard decision to make ahead of the team's return to domestic action at home to Cardiff on Saturday.

Mo Salah netted twice as Liverpool beat Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane joined Salah on the scoresheet and the two-goal star never doubted that the trio would return to their all-conquering form of last season. "I'm not in doubt, he was not in doubt, but if you constantly ask about it, then it's like something obviously is wrong", said the German. It's an exceptional number, hopefully he can continue.

Xherdan Shaqiri also played in Klopp's three-man midfield against Belgrade, along with Dutch global Georginio Wijnaldum who has become an integral part of Liverpool's scheme, having appeared in every league and Champions League game this season.

In stark contrast to last season's thrilling run to the Champions League final, Liverpool have struggled for goals in recent weeks with a new-found defensive stability instead keeping them joint top of the Premier League.

The home side's opening 10 minutes was summed up by Trent Alexander-Arnold inadvertently blocking Firmino's shot when Liverpool finally created something of note.

Red Star Belgrade, meanwhile, have won only once in 9 away outings against English opponents which, however, was claimed against Liverpool in November 1973. "The first goal he scored was a genius little linkup play by Shaq (Xherdan Shaqiri)".


Salah converted a penalty in the 51st after Mane was blocked by the elbow of Filip Stojkovic and was then taken off by Klopp, denying him the opportunity for a hat trick.

Mane missed his chance in Salah's absence as Borjan turned his penalty onto the crossbar.

Liverpool continued to push forward, and Firmino drew a decent save from Borjan, but Klopp's mind began to turn to Saturday's clash with Cardiff and he withdrew both Shaqiri, who received a standing ovation, and Salah.

Shaqiri is a Switzerland worldwide who was born in Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.

The midfielder also was targeted for some strong tackles in the first half, two coming in the space of a couple of minutes resulting in fouls.

Shaqiri can expect a hostile reception if he travels for the return match between the sides in Belgrade on November 6. Klopp, asked if he was considering whether or not to take Shaqiri to the Serbian capital, said: "So far, I didn't think about it, to be honest. It makes sense that I first think before I speak".

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