In five appearances against Manchester United for Liverpool, Salah is yet to score. United have often made a point of paying extra close attention and trying to mark him out of the game, even usually at the expense of their own attack.
“I think Manchester United play against me in a different way to some other players. They defend against me in a different way,” Salah told Sky Sports ahead of Sunday’s game at Anfield.
“It’s a challenge, but I’m happy about that. As long as the team are winning, I’m always happy.”
With Salah such an obvious source of danger, opposing players in general would be foolish not to study him to try and find ways to nullify him. The onus has therefore been on the Liverpool man to stay one step ahead by adapting the role he plays.
Having scored 44 goals in all competitions in his debut campaign at Liverpool, there was a feeling in his second season that defenders might have cottoned on because his tally fell. But Salah still managed 27 goals overall and even took a share of the Premier League Golden Boot.
This season, he is again on course to score at least 20 in the Premier League.
“In the first year when I came here, I was playing more as a winger,” he explained. “Then, in the second year, it was a real challenge to see what I could do when the other teams came to defend against me on the wing, and I knew that there would always be two players waiting for me there.
“I had to change my positioning. Now, sometimes I go inside and play more in that part of the pitch, and sometimes I play number nine. It was a challenge, that change, but I think I’m doing well. I finished as top scorer for the team again last season, which is something great.”
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