The perceived injustice in Salah’s finish is exacerbated by the implication that he is only the fourth best performer in the Premier League over the course of the calendar year – Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and N’ Chelsea’s Golo Kante joins Jorginho ahead of the Egyptian.
Not that Liverpool fans will be too bothered, as Salah has definitively ruled out any frustration during the most hostile periods – away against Everton in the Merseyside Derby.
The Egyptian striker was in top form at Goodison Park, scoring twice as Liverpool equalized 4-1 to maintain a two-point gap with leaders Chelsea.
Putting the visitors ahead with a close-range finish 10 minutes into the match, captain Jordan Henderson soon provided an assist when his pass sent Salah down midway through the first half. One touch to make his own, the second to swing past Jordan Pickford and into the far corner – the finish is Salah’s classic.
Everton pulled back a goal for Demarai Gray, but Salah restored the goal for Liverpool after the restart. After Seamus Coleman’s loose touch halfway down the touchline, the Egyptian sped toward goal before hitting the ball into the far corner.
Diogo Jota finished the run with just over 10 minutes left, but the headlines once again belonged to Salah as he raced to the seemingly inevitable fourth 20+ league campaign in just five season in Liverpool.
Salah’s double has taken his tally to the league’s highest tally of 13 goals in just 14 appearances, four fewer than his nearest contender, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy. On the good side, Salah also leads in assists in the Premier League this season with eight goals.
In his pre-match press conference, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he was “surprised” by the booking of Salah and said the winger “should have been more advanced, for sure.”
When asked about his reaction to his Ballon d’Or finish after the game, Salah’s own response was to laugh and shake his head.
“I have no comments!” he told Amazon Prime Video.
‘The show must go on’
Benzema then responded to any perceived injustice with a winning display – scoring the only goal of the game to beat Athletic Bilbao and extend Real Madrid’s lead at the top of La Liga.
Like Salah, he also tops the league in assists with seven and at 33 he seems to be getting better with age. Benzema’s 35 goals in 46 games in 2021 equalize his best goalscoring record of the year for Real in 2019, and he still has four games left to establish a new personal best. .
His dazzling form was reflected in the team’s performance – Wednesday night’s win saw Carlo Ancelotti’s side take seven straight wins in all competitions and usher in a seven-point lead. points in La Liga, although local rivals Atlético Madrid have a game in hand.
If he and Salah continue at their current pace, their biggest hurdles to 2022 Ballon d’Or glory could be each other.