Lessons from Salah’s winning penalty against Brighton


Akeem Lasisi

At a time Liverpool needed a critical goal in their match against Brighton this evening, Egyptian rave of the moment, Mohamed Salah, rose to the occasion through a spot kick he eternally converted.

Ordinarily, it can be argued that a goal from a penalty kick is so cheap that one needs not theorise about it. But some may be worth a mini thesis. The Salah’s may be one of them.

The first lesson is that a worthy striker should be creative in his search for goals. Salah proved to be one – because all Liverpool’s efforts to break Brighton yielded no fruits until the early second half the penalty came. It was Salah himself who forced the liability down Brighton’s throats by attempting to dribble through their wall.  The move didn’t immediately yield a goal, but it earned the Reds the fancy kick as the marauder was brought down at a forbidden spot.

Another lesson is that the winning striker not only knows how to kick the ball inside the net, he also knows how to dribble – and run with it. That is what Salah did for Liverpool this evening. The talent it was that made Brighton became a dull team.

Lastly – and very importantly – Salah taught football a symbolic lesson that, no matter what leg or what style you want to use to play the penalty kick, take a shot. Hammer it – the way Rasheed Yekini used to hammer it. The implication is that even if the goalkeeper reads your legs very well and follows the ball, the speed and force will still cage him or her. Salah did this, firing the ball to the keeper’s left side, with a force too mighty for his calculation and drive.

The result is what the Liverpoolians –  like Nigeria’s most outspoken Liverpool fan, Bamidele Johnson – are now celebrating: a goal victory, a growing lead on the EPL table and Salah’s kingship on the highest scorers table.

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