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LONDON, August 12, 2018 (News Wires) - Last season's Premier League top scorer Mohamed Salah was on target again as Liverpool kicked off their season in style with an easy win at home to West Ham United.

The Egyptian gave Juergen Klopp's side the lead after 19 minutes from
Andy Robertson's precise low cross.

West Ham's new manager Manuel Pellegrini gave debuts to five of their 10
close-season signings, but his revamped team rarely threatened Liverpool's
expensive new Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson.

Poor defending cost them a second goal just before the interval, to Sadio
Mane, who added a third after 53 minutes from an offside position.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge made it four just seconds after coming on.

Liverpool haven't been crowned champions of England since 1989/90 and
finished 25 points behind City last season.

But after reaching the Champions League final last season and spending
more than anyone else in the Premier League in the off-season, there is
palpable belief that near three-decade wait can come to an end in May.

Midfielder Naby Keita and Alisson were the only debutants to start from a
reported £170 million summer splurge in the transfer market as Fabinho
and Xherdan Shaqiri had to make do with a place on the bench.

However, there was little tinkering for Klopp to do up front after Salah,
Mane and Roberto Firmino combined for 91 goals last season, and they
again provided the firepower to outclass a sorry West Ham despite their
own near £100 million outlay on nine new players.

Salah and Mane's pain at international level was Liverpool's gain as early
exits at the World Cup with Egypt and Senegal meant they could join the
club's pre-season tour of the United States, unlike a host of Premier League
stars who returned to training just last week after their exertions in Russia.

A revelation in his first season at Anfield with 44 goals in all competitions,
Salah is now a marked man.

Yet, he was given the simplest of tasks to tap home the opener into an
empty net on 19 minutes from Andy Robertson's pinpoint cross after he
was freed down the left by the impressive Keita.

Salah should have had more as he was well picked out by a bursting run by
Firmino only to place his shot too close to Lukasz Fabianski, who also
made a brilliant save to turn Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick behind.

Fabianski was by far the busier 'keeper with Alisson making just one
comfortable save and impressing far more with his feet to launch a series of
Liverpool attacks.

 

LONDON, August 11, 2018 (MENA) - Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has gotten 44 per cent of a fan vote for the 2017-18 Champions League Forward of the Season award.

The Egyptian winger passed Lionel Messi (18%) and Cristiano Ronaldo (38%) in a public vote offered on the CL official twitter account.

Up to 281,305 people have voted.

The winner will be announced on August 30.

The Liverpool No.11 scored 10 goals in the tournament proper last term to help his side reach the final, where they were beaten by Real Madrid in Kiev.

MANCHESTER, August 7, 2018 (News Wires) - Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final and their impressive three wins over Manchester City in the last campaign have raised hopes on Merseyside that they could be the closest challengers to Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

Their work in the transfer market has also added to the positivity around the club after German manager Juergen Klopp made some major moves that have clearly strengthened his squad.

The most glaring weakness in last year’s team was in goal, where Loris Karius’s nightmare performance in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid exposed their lack of a reliable top-class keeper.

Klopp responded by signing 25-year-old Brazil international Alisson Becker from AS Roma, smashing the world record for a goalkeeper in a deal worth up to €72.5 million.

The departure of Emre Can to Juventus and the long-term injury absence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Klopp short of options in the centre of midfield.

Yet the arrivals of Brazilian Fabinho from AS Monaco and Guinea international Naby Keita from RB Leipzig have provided plenty of additional quality.

Liverpool’s strength last season was their attack, which remains unchanged, with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane a potent trident that will trouble any defence in the Premier League.

The surprise purchase of Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City offers some cover and flexibility, rounding out what has been an impressive transfer window for Klopp.

As well as the close-season signings, the arrival in January of Virgil van Dijk brought much-needed solidity and stability to the centre of defence and with Joe Gomez and Nathianel Clyne back to fitness, there are increased options at fullback.

While City start as title favourites, Liverpool know they are capable of outgunning Guardiola’s side - they beat them 4-3 in the league at Anfield in January before a 3-0 victory in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg.

Klopp is well aware that Liverpool need to eliminate some of the sloppy performances, which left them trailing City in the league last season, and while he is not promising silverware, he expects to see progress.

“Improvement, development, using our football last season as a basis and make the next steps. More consistency - we were not inconsistent, but we can be more consistent,” he said.

“The mood in the club at the moment is really good and we want to build on that, we want to come even closer.”

CAIRO, August 7, 2018 (News Wires) - Veteran Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has retired from international duty aged 45, after breaking the record for oldest player to appear at a World Cup in Russia.

"After reflecting at length and asking God, I have decided to retire from international football," El-Hadary wrote on Facebook late Monday.

El Hadary, nicknamed "High Dam", won 159 caps for his country during a 22-year international career that saw him win the African Cup of Nations four times.

At the age of 45 years and 161 days, El-Hadary smashed Colombian stopper Faryd Mondragon's record for oldest player at a World Cup when he took to the field against Saudi Arabia in Volgograd this summer.

He wrote that he was "very proud" to have finally "realised the most important, biggest, dearest dream of playing at the World Cup".

The joy of appearing at Egypt's first World Cup since 1990 was tempered by the team's poor showing, as the Pharaohs led by Liverpool star Mohamed Salah crashed out winless.

El-Hadary did, however, manage to pull off an impressive penalty save in the final game with the Saudis against a player nearly half his age.

Talisman Salah hailed El-Hadary as a "legend" after his international retirement was announced.

"A new legend from the golden generation is leaving us," Salah wrote on Twitter Tuesday, wishing El-Hadary "all the best" for the future.

Despite dropping out of the national setup, El-Hadary is still playing for Egyptian top flight team Ismaili.

He signed for the club back in his homeland in July after leaving Saudi side Al Taawun.

DUBLIN, August 5, 2018 (News Wires) - Brazil goalkeeper Alisson kept a clean sheet on his Liverpool debut in a 5-0 demolition of Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli in Dublin.

James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum both scored inside the opening 10 minutes at the Aviva Stadium in Liverpool’s penultimate pre-season friendly.

Liverpool lost Milner to a clash of heads with Napoli defender Mario Rui early in the second half in an incident that left the former England international needing 15 stitches.

Mohamed Salah, who hit 32 Premier League goals last term - a record for a 38-game season, added a third for Jurgen Klopp’s men just before the hour.

Liverpool conclude their pre-season at home to Torino on Tuesday before launching their Premier League campaign on August 12 against West Ham.

LONDON, July 29, 2018 (News Wires) - Mohamed Salah is capable of delivering another season chock full of goals at Liverpool but his supporting cast must pick up the slack to ease the burden on the Egyptian forward, midfielder James Milner has said.

Salah scored 44 goals in 52 games for Liverpool as they reached the Champions League final and finished fourth in the Premier League.

“He is more than capable of doing that. There is pressure when you have had one good year to deliver again but he is a top player ... He’s going to keep on improving,” Milner told reporters.

“We need to keep improving as a side with him as well, and make sure that all the pressure is not on his shoulders to deliver goals and get us out of tough situations. “

Apart from the departed Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were the only other Liverpool players to surpass the 10-goal mark last season with 27 and 20 goals.

Meanwhile, Salah insists his shoulder is feeling 'much better' as he looks to replicate his stunning debut season at Liverpool.

The reigning PFA Player of the Year is currently with his club team-mates on their pre-season tour of the United States following a disappointing World Cup campaign in which Egypt finished bottom of their group.

Salah headed home the equalising goal just 52 seconds after being introduced as a second-half replacement for Curtis Jones during Liverpool's 2-1 International Champions Cup victory over Manchester City in New Jersey on Thursday morning.

Such an instant impact helped to soothe any lingering fears over a troublesome shoulder problem, which saw him substituted intears after less than half an hour of the Champions League final in May.

That issue also caused Salah to miss Egypt's opening fixture in Russia, yet the player claims he is better and not feeling any additional pressure to perform after scoring 44 goals in 52 appearances across all competitions last term.

'I am very happy to be back,' he told Liverpool TV. 'I feel good and my shoulder is much better. I'm very happy to be back in the squad.

'Last year I had a great season – everyone, not just me. When people talk about myself, yes there is some pressure because it was a record and we also have to improve in the Champions League and finish in a better position in the Premier League.

 

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