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LONDON, April 21, 2018 (News Wires) - Mohamed Salah could prevent further Manchester City celebrations by winning the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award on Sunday night. The Egyptian scored in both legs as Liverpool knocked City out of the Champions League earlier this month and is rated as the bookmakers’ favourite to win the vote of his peers ahead of Blues trio Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Leroy Sane.

Salah has been simply sensational since moving to Anfield from Roma last summer. He and his team-mates will come up against the Italian side in the Champions League semi-final first leg next week.

He scored his 40th goal in all competitions for Liverpool in the Premier League win over Bournemouth last weekend and his form, alongside fellow forwards Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, means Jurgen Klopp’s men have suffered no ill-effects from the January departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Salah can already count on one significant vote – fellow nominee De Bruyne revealed he had chosen the African as his stand-out player of the season.

De Bruyne has been outstanding in City’s march to the Premier League title. His technical quality has been a key component in the slick football played by Pep Guardiola’s side, and has registered a league-leading 15 assists so far. He has also weighed in with seven goals.

Lightning-quick Germany winger Sane is second in the assists table with 12 and has also scored nine times in the Premier League.

Silva has now won three Premier League titles with City, having also been part of the squad which lifted the trophy in 2012 and 2014.

The Spain playmaker has eight goals and 11 assists to his name in a City team which has dominated the competition this year.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea make up the six-man award shortlist.

England forward Kane reached 100 career Premier League goals in February, while Spanish stopper De Gea has enjoyed another excellent campaign for United, and will be hoping to become the first goalkeeper to win the award since Peter Shilton in 1978.

His City counterpart Ederson has proved to be an excellent addition for his club after goalkeeper proved a problem position for Guardiola last season. His reward is a place on the Young Player of the Year shortlist.

Ederson’s team-mate Raheem Sterling is also nominated in that category and has been impressive in front of goal this term, and his 17 league strikes place him joint fourth in the competition.

Ryan Sessegnon is the youngest player on the list at 17. He has been instrumental in Fulham’s push to reach the Premier League, scoring 14 times in the Sky Bet Championship.

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, Sane and Kane complete the Young Player of the Year shortlist, with the inclusion of Kane – who will be 25 in July – drawing social media criticism.

The PFA will also announce the Women’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year award winners on Sunday.

Chelsea Ladies forward Fran Kirby is widely expected to get the nod for the main award and is nominated alongside four Blues team-mates – Millie Bright, Ji So-yun, Maren Mjelde and Ramona Bachmann.

Manchester City’s Jill Scott is the only player not with the west London club to be on the list.

The nominees for Young Player of the Year are Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Ellie Roebuck (all Manchester City), Lauren Hemp (Bristol City), Gabby George (Everton) and Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea).

 

LONDON, April 20, 2018 (News agencies) - Mohamed Salah is focused on trying to help Liverpool enjoy a successful conclusion to 2017-18, rather than chasing the Golden Boot, according to Jurgen Klopp.

With 30 strikes, the Egyptian forward is currently four goals in front of Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane in the race to be crowned as the Premier League’s leading marksman for the campaign.

However, with the Reds on course to sew up a top-four finish in the division, and a Champions League semi-final with AS Roma to look forward to, Klopp insists Salah is only concerned about contributing to a fruitful conclusion to the season for the team.

The manager told his pre-West Bromwich Albion press conference: “There are always personal targets, but the main target for Mo is to finish in the Champions League spots and, in an ideal world, to go to the final – and if you are then there, to win the final.

“We don’t have to think too much about that; it’s not that we start now bringing him into situations where he can score. We have to play normal football and in the end, if Mo is at his best, he will be a goal threat at least. If he is in the right positions, he will score or not. That’s how it always was.

“Because of the question, you see it has changed already, from outside the view is it is decisive for this or that, but in the end we came here in the position [we are in] because of the football we played, [just] as Mo came here because of the football he played.

“We don’t have to change anything, we only have to carry on. For him and for us, it’s exactly the same.” Liverpool travel to the Hawthorns on Saturday to take on the Baggies before their attention will turn to the first-leg of the last-four tie with Roma at Anfield on Tuesday evening.

However, Klopp’s decision on whether to select Salah at the Hawthorns doesn’t hinge on the clash with the Italian side as he prepares the Reds to tackle a West Brom team who prevailed 1-0 against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend.

“[Mo has] no physical problems in the moment and hopefully it stays like this, that’s what we need,” the boss continued. “We need the boys for all the games. I know that the next question will be around line-up and selection for West Brom because Roma is coming afterwards, but we never did it like that.

“We have to line-up with a really, really strong line-up. We respect always the intensity of the season so far and all that stuff, but in the end we respect West Brom, we respect the competition of the Premier League, we know that we need points to be in the top four.

“It will be difficult enough because everybody saw West Brom got four points since they changed the manager. I know a lot of people are like, ‘oh, United lost against West Brom’ and, yes, maybe West Brom were lucky in one or two situations, but they deserved it. Not only because Man United were not at their best, no it was because West Brom did really well.

“Now they have a home game and they want to show they believe in their little last chance [of survival]. We are the first opponent in that new situation, so we need to be at our best in that game. It will be difficult and we lost to them in the FA Cup, I don’t have to remind anybody on that.

“That’s what we respect first and then after the game, we think about Roma, because there is no other wat for us. We don’t have 25 players in the moment and can line-up two different sides and stuff like that for one competition and the other competition.

“We need all the players and Mo is fit in the moment.”

ENGLAND, April 19, 2018 (News agencies) - Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah hopes to stay clear at the top of the scoring charts to claim this season's Premier League Golden Boot award, the Egypt international adding that his team mates were eager to help him achieve the goal.

The 25-year-old has scored 30 goals in 32 league appearances during a spectacular debut season at Liverpool with Salah tallying 40 strikes in total across all competitions in 45 outings.

Salah holds a four-goal cushion over Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot with four league matches remaining.

"The players are trying to help me a lot now to score goals, because they know now I am in for the Golden Boot. In the end it is an individual award, but it also helps the team get the points," Salah told Sky Sports.

"The way we play is very good, and you can see the fans are very happy and I feel very good about that, I feel they want me to win something.

"It's the last four games, so it's very clear, I play for it. In the beginning I played for it, but it's always for the team. I want to score for the team."

The forward also said that while he would always welcome individual honours, helping the team achieve their targets was of greater importance.

Liverpool have benefited from Salah's exploits with the club fighting to finish second in the league and also in contention to reach the Champions League final after drawing AS Roma in the semi-finals.

Salah could also break the league scoring record for the most goals in a 38-game season (31) while even surpassing the 34-goal record for a 42-game campaign.

"Now it's very clear, I want to break the Premier League (record). 31 goals in a 38-game season. One goal to go, right? I want to break both records! It's just four goals and four games," he added.

Liverpool travel to basement side West Bromwich Albion in the league on Saturday before hosting the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Roma at Anfield on Tuesday.

By Glenn Price
Liverpool Correspondent

LONDON, April 17, 2018 - Egypt's Mohamed Salah is showing no signs of slowing down in his record-breaking first season at Liverpool. The Egypt international wasn't at his best during the weekend's 3-0 victory over Bournemouth but still managed to score his 40th goal of the season in all competitions.

Salah became the first Liverpool player since 1987 to break the 40-goal mark, and there are many more feats that the 25-year-old has achieved or could reach by the end of the season. Here are 10 of them.

Most goals in a single season in Liverpool history

Ian Rush's record of 47 goals during the 1983-84 season is in serious jeopardy based on Salah's current form. Salah has at least six more games to rack up the goals. Somewhat impressively, Rush scored that total in 65 appearances, whereas Salah could do it in significantly fewer, having played for Liverpool 45 times so far following his summer move from Roma. Possibility: 6/10.

Most Premier League goals in a 38-game season

Salah is currently one behind Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez's joint record of 31 goals in a 38-game Premier League season. With Liverpool having four league games remaining this term, Salah has an excellent chance of breaking this record. Possibility: 9/10.

Most goals in a Premier League season outright

Shearer (1994-95) and Andy Cole (1993-94) have both scored 34 goals in a Premier League season -- the most in league history -- but they achieved it in an era when there were 42 games in a Premier League season. Can Salah score five in the remaining four games? Possibility: 6/10.

Most Premier League Player of the Month awards in one season

Last week, Salah was named the Premier League's Player of the Month for March, making him the first player to win the award three times in a single season. He also won the award in November and February. Possibility: Already achieved.

Most Champions League goals in one campaign by a Liverpool player

Salah's eight goals in the Champions League have helped Liverpool reach the semifinals for the first time in a decade. Roberto Firmino has scored the same number, and the pair's tallies are greater than any other player's in Liverpool's history. Salah needs to outscore Firmino in the Reds' remaining games in Europe to claim this honour. Possibility: 7/10.

Fastest Liverpool player to 40 goals

The forward's audacious header over Asmir Begovic on Saturday took him to 40 Liverpool goals faster than any other player in the club's history. Salah managed it in 45 games; it took George Allan 49 outings, Jack Parkinson 60, Robbie Fowler 61 and Daniel Sturridge 65. Possibility: Already achieved.

Highest-scoring African player in a Premier League season

Salah overtook Didier Drogba's 2009-10 total of 29 goals with his header on Saturday to become the first African player to reach 30 goals in a Premier League campaign. Possibility: Already achieved.

Fastest Liverpool player to score 50 goals

Although not impossible, it seems unlikely that Salah will reach a half-century this season. Regardless, he is well on course to score 50 goals in record time. Albert Stubbins got there in 77 games, Roger Hunt in 79 and Fernando Torres in 84. Possibility (this season): 4/10.

Winning the European Golden Shoe

Salah is the top goal scorer in all of Europe's major leagues. He's currently one ahead of Lionel Messi and two clear of Robert Lewandowski and Lazio's Ciro Immobile. Suarez, in 2013-14, was the most recent Liverpool player to win the award, but he shared it with Ronaldo. Possibility: 7/10.

Most games with a goal in a Premier League season

The Bournemouth encounter was the 22nd Premier League game Salah has scored in this season, overtaking Ronaldo and Robin van Persie's previous record of 21. Possibility: Already achieved.

LONDON, April 16, 2018 (News agencies) - Mohamed Salah's pursuit of some incredible individual records is secondary to the forward's desire to bring Liverpool success.The Egyptian netted for the 40th time this season on Saturday with a delightful looped header over the goalkeeper as the Reds chalked up a comfortable 3-0 win against Bournemouth at Anfield.

That effort gave Salah a five-goal cushion in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot and he is now only seven short of equalling Ian Rush’s club best of 47 in a single campaign – with at least six games remaining.

The No.11 admits he is hunting both achievements but would gladly cast aside those ambitions in favour of Liverpool claiming Champions League glory next month.

“It means a lot. I try to score every game to help the team and to get the points,” said Salah, who will face his former club AS Roma in Europe, after hitting the 40-goal mark.

“That is the most important thing for us, that we play as a team, as 11 players, and so each goal for me is to help the team. It is a great feeling, of course it is a great feeling, but in the end I am just happy to score and help the team.

“If I had a choice between the Champions League and the Golden Boot, then of course it would be the Champions League, no doubt the Champions League. To win the Champions League is huge for everyone. I don’t care about the rest.”
Whatever happens in the final weeks, Salah’s debut season with the Reds is set to go down as one of the greatest in history.

But could he topple a goalscoring milestone that many thought might never be touched, Rush’s haul in 1983-84?
“It is very close, just seven goals. But let’s see!” he said.
“I don’t know how many games there is to go but we have the Premier League and semi-finals of the Champions League to play. I will try my best to score again and help the team.”

If he does secure the Golden Boot, meanwhile, Salah knows the feat will have been achieved with a significant contribution from his teammates.

“I cannot lie, it is in my mind. But you can see against Bournemouth that everyone in the team tries to pass the ball to me to help me,” said the 25-year-old.

“I am happy to have this feeling. You feel all the team want to support you and want to help you score goals.

“I am also sure that Tottenham’s players try to help Harry Kane and also Manchester City’s try to help Sergio Aguero. It’s like that but in the end we play as a team.”

 

 

NYON, Switzerland, April 13, 2018 (News agencies) - Liverpool will take on AS Roma and Bayern Munich will face Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League following the draw at UEFA's headquarters on Friday.The first legs will be on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 April, with the returns on May 1 and 2. The detailed schedule will be released later on Friday.

For Mohamed Salah, the tie against Roma represents a return to his old club, after he departed for Merseyside during the summer transfer window. He scored 34 goals in his two seasons in Rome. On Friday he became the first ever player to win the Premier League player of month award for the third time in a season.

With regards to previous meetings, Liverpool will enter the game with confidence, having lost just one of their five meetings with the Italian side. They have drawn two and won two against Roma in the past, with the most notable game being the European Cup final in 1984, which the Merseyside club won on penalties.
Liverpool was drawn to face Roma in a repeat of the 1984 final. The English team won that match in the Italian club's home stadium.

The first legs will be played on April 24-25, with the return games on May 1-2. The final is scheduled for May 26 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine.
In the 2000-01 UEFA Cup fourth round, they beat the Italians 2-1 on aggregate – winning 2-0 in Rome before losing 1-0 at Anfield – on the way to lifting the trophy against Alaves in Dortmund.

The following year, the teams were in the same Champions League second round group, with Liverpool earning a goalless draw at the Stadio Olimpico and then a 2-0 win at Anfield, notable for being the return of Gerard Houllier after his illness. Most famously, though, Liverpool beat Roma in the Italian capital to lift the European Cup in 1984, prevailing 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

In the other semifinal, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, who have a combined 17 European titles, have never met in the final but this will be their seventh semifinal meeting in the 63-year-old competition.

Arsenal faces Atletico in Europa semis

Favourites Atletico Madrid will face Arsenal in the Europa League semi-finals with Olympique de Marseille taking on Austrian outsiders Salzburg following Friday's draw at UEFA's headquarters.
Atletico are bidding to reach their third European final in four years having been runners-up in the Champions League in 2013-14 and 2015-16.

Arsenal are not only hoping to win a first European trophy since 1994, but know their hopes of qualifying for next year's Champions League depend on winning the Europa League in the French city of Lyon next month.

The Gunners are currently sixth in the Premier League with little prospect of finishing in the top four and taking one of the Champions League qualification spots.
Salzburg, who scored three times in five minutes on Thursday to beat Lazio 6-5 on aggregate and become the first Austrian side to reach a European semi-final since 1996, will fancy their chances of reaching the final.

The Austrian league leaders beat Marseille 1-0 at home in this season's group phase and drew 0-0 away in France.

Marseille, for whom captain Dimitri Payet was inspirational in their comeback 5-3 aggregate win against RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals, are currently fourth in Ligue 1.
Arsenal and Marseille will both be at home in the first legs which take place on April 26 with the return games on May 3.

Diego Simeone's Atletico side, second in La Liga, have already faced English opposition this season in Europe, losing 2-1 at home to Chelsea and drawing away as they bowed out of the Champions League at the group stage.

They have a strong recent record against English opposition in knockout ties, however, winning their last three and have a formidable attack featuring Diego Costa and Fernando Torres.
Atletico also beat Liverpool in the Europa League semi-finals in 2010 before going on to lift the trophy.

Salzburg, backed by energy drinks giant Red Bull, have an enviable record in Europe this season, losing only once in 21 matches, that defeat coming away to Lazio 4-2.
Marco Rose's side produced a stunning fightback to win the second leg 4-1 on Thursday, having slipped 5-2 behind on aggregate in the 55th minute.Marseille are unbeaten at home in this season's Europa League and will have the backing a fanatical crowd when they host Salzburg in the first leg.

A European club record 58,897 turned out to roar them home in the second leg against Leipzig on Thursday.

Diego Simeone’s side are currently second in LaLiga behind runaway leaders Barcelona.Speaking after Thursday’s match in Moscow, when at one point Arsenal had been a goal away from elimination, manager Arsene Wenger admitted he would prefer to avoid Atletico.

“Looking at all the results as a whole picture in Europe this week, you would say that teams have become closer and the games are very open and everything is possible in every single game,” Wenger said.

“Everybody speaks about Atletico Madrid that they look the strongest team on paper, but you must say when you look at the results that Salzburg have done again…

“I am from France and Marseille are in there as well and that is always a difficult place to go… maybe it is better that I don’t wish for anybody.”

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech believes winning the Europa League would be a sign of progression for the Gunners this season, following an otherwise indifferent domestic campaign.
The Europa League is Arsenal’s only remaining chance of silverware this season and their most realistic route back into the Champions League as the Gunners are 13 points adrift of the Premier League top four.

“You need to keep the progression. You keep that not only on the pitch, but by winning things,” Cech, who lifted the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013, replied when asked what winning a European trophy does for a team.

“Obviously it will be very important for the club to finish the season with a European success and most importantly, if we can book the spot in the Champions League for next season.
“We know this is our chance to book our Champions League spot but not only that, you play a European competition for a cup and for a cup the club has never won.This is another opportunity to add a great trophy to the cabinet.”


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