Liverpool's Mohamed Salah Talks Creating Chances, Sadio Mane Relationship

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2020

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02:  Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates with Sadio Mane after scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United at Anfield on January 02, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah has revealed he enjoys creating chances for his Liverpool team-mates and spoken of his positive relationship with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. 

The Egyptian has faced accusations of selfishness in some quarters during his time at Anfield.

However, he told Sky Sports' Nick Wright that forging opportunities for his team-mates is an important part of his game:

"I can't focus too much on just scoring or finishing myself, because that means my game won't really change and my opponents will figure out how to defend against me.

"If sometimes I get the ball and create a chance or give an assist, I can confuse them. It's about being clever."

Salah has 14 goals and eight assists to his name this season in all competitions. 

He said assists are a vital part of winning matches, and he was pleased to have set up Firmino against Tottenham Hotspur in the Reds' 1-0 win last time out:

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He added:

In Liverpool's 3-0 win over Burnley in August, there was an incident late on in which Salah shot—and failed to score—when he could have given the ball to Mane, who was better placed. Minutes later, Mane was substituted and appeared to react angrily on the bench.

Sports journalist Uche Amako and football writer Graham Ruthven accused Salah of being selfish:

Per Wright, despite that reputation, the forward is Liverpool's most effective creator.

Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Salah has created more chances (162), more big chances (32) and laid on more assists (23) than any other Reds player in the Premier League.

Asked if he, Mane and Firmino had a friendly competition to score the most goals, Salah joked that "of course" he would win it, before adding: "No, no, we don't look at it like that. If none of us score and the game finishes zero-zero—which doesn't happen oftenwe are really angry and we get annoyed by that."

He also said that the trio, and the rest of the team, have "great relationships," which foster a positive atmosphere and "can make a huge difference on the pitch."

If the attacking trio are keeping count, Mane is narrowly in the lead with 15 goals in all competitions, as well as 11 assists. Firmino has nine apiece.

Salah spoke ahead of Manchester United's trip to Anfield on Sunday, having never found the net against the Red Devils. Aston Villa are the only other current top-flight team he has not scored against.

"I think Manchester United play against me in a different way to some other players," he said. "They defend against me in a different way. It's a challenge, but I'm happy about that."

United are the only team Liverpool have dropped points against this season, when they drew 1-1 back in October.

It was the sixth time the pair have drawn in their last eight meetings. Liverpool are 14 points ahead of Manchester City in the title race with a game in hand, so another draw here would hardly be disastrous, but it would be an ideal time for Salah to break his duck.