Liverpool kicked off their 2017/18 Premier League campaign with a thrilling 3-3 draw at Watford, and it was summer signing Mohamed Salah whose impressive display was sadly overshadowed by some truly dreadful defending from the Reds.
In a frenetic affair at Vicarage Road, new arrival Salah was livelier than most with five attempts on goal, scoring one of those attempts and also drawing in the foul for Roberto Firmino’s subsequent penalty. The Egyptian had a miserable spell at Stamford Bridge in his first taste of Premier League football some years back, but the exciting attacker has now proven his maturity and ability at the highest level.
Salah’s pace and energy terrified a resistant Watford defence all afternoon, yet on the occasions were the tricky winger did get in behind, he proved just why Liverpool splashed out to make him their record signing earlier this summer. Salah worked extremely well in linking up with fellow wide man Sadio Mane, while his interplay with forward Roberto Firmino conveyed just how deadly that attacking trio can be this season.
After a fantastic preseason, the pacey attacker could have opened his competitive Liverpool account much sooner with a glorious one on one with Heurelho Gomes, but the Egyptian could only clip his effort over the bar. He did however find the net soon after as Liverpool came flying out of the blocks after a poor first half, after winning a penalty for his side with a terrific run in behind the Watford defence. His defence-splitting run was met with a fine through ball by Firmino, who confidently dispatched the consequent penalty.
Salah’s debut goal came courtesy of another flick from Firmino, whose effort was tapped in by the oncoming winger to put the Reds 3-2 ahead, however more shocking defending from the away side allowed Watford to snatch a dramatic last-minute equaliser.
In what was a frustrating 100th game in charge for Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have now conceded 85 goals from 27 set pieces during his roller-coaster reign, where a shaky defence has once again overshadowed an exciting attacking display. The away side certainly missed the presence of Philippe Coutinho after his impressive link up with Salah on countless occasions in preseason.
There were certainly positives to take from the feisty affair at Vicarage Road, where the Reds came back twice from losing positions, while Salah proved just how much of an asset he can be. It was a fantastic debut during which the energetic winger was constantly looking to attack, improving massively as the game went on before being withdrawn to a standing ovation from the travelling Reds shortly before the final whistle.