This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Some Liverpool fans have been critical of Mohamed Salah’s recent performances, but his statistics against Leicester tell a different story.
Salah has become a victim of his own success. The Egypt international scored a ridiculous 44 goals in his first season at Anfield, and has racked up 77 goals and 32 assists in all competitions for the club since his arrival.
Because of that insane production level, the 27 year-old is now criticised any time he doesn’t get on the score-sheet or provide a goal, and some Reds fans have bashed his recent form.
But really, Mo Salah needs to be benched for few games. His performance has been abysmal
— Lowkey err..thang (@ErrThangLowkey) October 5, 2019
Tired of salah. Should have been benched at times: wasteful
— klopping it (@insideteacher) October 5, 2019
It's time Origi should start …Salah bench #LFC
— inder hundal (@HundalInder) October 5, 2019
However, Liverpool’s Egyptian King actually put in a very good display when the Foxes came to town this weekend, racking up a 7.2 rating on Sofascore, which was only bettered by four players on the pitch.
Per Sofascore, Salah completed every dribble he attempted, carving out opportunities for himself and mustering five shots at goal, although three of those were blocked. He was fouled the most of anyone on the pitch (four) – the defenders just couldn’t deal with him.
He was also a quality source of chances for his teammates, completing 75% of his passes despite attempting mostly forward, incisive balls, including three key passes, one of which was a lovely piece of link-up play that ended with Sadio Mane shooting just wide.
The £34m man didn’t stop there though, harassing the visiting defenders constantly, winning eight out of 12 duels. To put that into perspective, Mane won eight out of 17, Roberto Firmino won just four out of nine, while Virgil van Dijk won eight out of ten.
Salah did lose possession 13 times, but that is a completely reasonable number for an attacking player. Mane surrendered the ball 14 times, Firmino 12, while full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold combined for a whopping 71 losses of possession.
So, if Salah was “abysmal” and “wasteful” then so were his strike partners, so were the famed Liverpool full-back duo, and so was pretty much every player on the pitch.
You’d be hard pushed to find another player who could rack up three key passes, three dribbles, five shots and eight duels in a match and receive calls to be benched.