Mohammed Salah’s brace won the game for Liverpool against Brighton but the Egyptian star was still labelled “super selfish” by club great Graeme Souness.
Salah played a hand in all three goals in the 3-1 win, scoring the first in the sixth minute before teeing up Jordan Henderson for the second just two minutes later. He then rounded out the scoring with a header in the 76th minute to open a tension relieving two-goal buffer.
The victory was Liverpool’s 30th of the season.
No team has ever won 30 matches in a single season this quickly in terms of games played and if Liverpool win three of its final four games it will set a new record for the most points in a campaign.
Watch European Football with beIN SPORTS and ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
The double took Salah to 19 goals for the Premier League campaign, three fewer than Golden Boot leader Jamie Vardy. It
The winger has won the prize in each of the past two seasons and Souness has no doubt he is chasing a third now that Liverpool has won the Premier League tittle.
“He was at it tonight from the first minute. I think it [the Golden Boot] is important to him,” Souness told Sky Sports when asked about Salah.
“You’ve seen his reaction when people weren’t finding him late on in the game in the last third. He was shooting at every opportunity, and his teammates will not have been happy with him on two or three occasions.
“But he’s always selfish. I think tonight he was super selfish. He really wants his Golden Boot.
“They’ve won the league, so he’s done his bit for the team, he’s played his part, he’s got the goals, he’s been fabulous, and he wants that Golden Boot. And he thinks he’s in a team that creates chances, so he thinks it’s very much still on for him.”
While the former captain’s comments were not shaped as a critique, he does believe Salah’s single-minded pursuit of goals could be a cause of tension within the squad.
“They’ve got an element of it – they’ve all got an element of it,” he side. “But I think he takes it to another level. I think Mane has fallen out with him in the past over occasions where he feels he should have passed to him to score a goal and he shot himself.
“So I think there is an element in all goalscorers that they’re greedy at times, but I think he takes it to another level.”
For his part, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said he had no issues at all with the Golden Boot being a source of motivation for either Salah or Mane.
“He’s a striker, how can it not be a motivation for him? That’s clear,” he said after the match.
“In the last two years he won the golden boot, last year he shared it with Sadio and with Auba. That’s always important, it’s important for Sadio and all that stuff is normal.
“In the end you can only score goals when you perform well and he did that so that was really good and apart from that it’s all fine.
“If you are too focused on goals, not that they are, but if you are too focused on goals you don’t move enough that you can be in the right situations but the goals he scored were really good and he had a lot to move and score the goals. That’s nice, could have scored more, that’s true, but that’s pretty much all.”