Mohamed Salah would rather face Real Madrid than Manchester City in the final of the Champions League in Paris as they target the quadruple after seeing off a spirited Villarreal performance in the last four.

Liverpool survived a huge scare in Spain to reach their 10th European Cup/Champions League final, with Fabinho, Luis Diaz, and Sadio Mane scoring second-half goals after Villarreal wiped out the Reds' first-leg lead in an unbelievable first half.

Liverpool have become the first team to reach the finals of the European Cup/Champions League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup in a single season, and trail City by just one point in an absorbing Premier League title race.

The Reds' incredible form has led to talk of Jurgen Klopp's team lifting four major trophies at the end of the campaign, with Salah hoping to complete the quadruple against Madrid having been substituted after suffering an injury in Liverpool's 2018 final loss to Los Blancos.

"Yeah, [it's a target] for sure," he told BT Sport. "Maybe not in the beginning of the season if I'm honest, because I always focus on the Champions League and the Premier League, but now we are close for everything, so why not? 

"I think after we beat City in the semi-final of the [FA] cup [Liverpool believed it was possible], but in the Champions League, from the beginning we were playing unbelievable games, we had a really tough group and we beat everybody, so I said from that time we could win the Champions League this year.

"I want to play Madrid, I have to be honest. City is a really tough team, we played against them a few times this season, but I think if you ask me personally, I would prefer Madrid.

"Because we lost in the final against them, I want to play against them, and hopefully win against them as well."

Salah assisted Fabinho's vital 62nd-minute goal in Spain, taking his tally to an incredible 45 goal contributions in all competitions this season (30 goals, 15 assists), and the Egypt international revealed he had set himself a target of 40 goals before the campaign began.

"I just give the team everything, we have to focus for the team because we fight for everything, we won one trophy already, we are in the final, we continue to fight for the Premier League and we are in a final against Chelsea [in the FA Cup]," he added.

"I just focus, and try to train hard. I know what I want at the end of the season, so hopefully I can get what I want. 

"Before the season starts, I know what I want from the season, individually and collectively. The collective is the most important, [but] I'm nearly there, I have a big expectation for myself. 

"Honestly, I never said this before but before the season started, I was like 'okay, I'll go for 40 goals this season, and 10 or 15 assists'. I need to focus on the goals now!"

Reds defender Virgil van Dijk, meanwhile, hailed winger Diaz for his impact after the January arrival changed the game as a half-time substitute, but refused to join Salah in stating a preferred final opponent.

"The way he goes one versus one, it doesn't really matter who he is facing, he just goes at you without any fear," Van Dijk said of Diaz. "And if he loses it, he wins it back and goes again. That is very difficult to defend.

"Any team that we face in the final of this competition will be a nightmare to play against. We know City but they know us too. We know how intense those games are. Real Madrid is Real Madrid. Such a big club and an in-form striker [Karim Benzema]."

Liverpool's Champions League final opponents will be revealed when Pep Guardiola's City travel to the Spanish capital on Wednesday, attempting to defend a 4-3 first-leg lead to set up an all-English final.

FIFA have ordered the Senegalese Football Federation to play a competitive match behind closed doors and fined them $180,000 after a series of incidents in March's World Cup qualifier against Egypt, including the use of laser pens to target Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

After Egypt and Senegal each claimed 1-0 home wins in their two-legged play-off for World Cup qualification, Salah was targeted by a number of laser pens as he missed his penalty in the decisive shoot-out in Dakar, which Senegal went on to win.

Egypt lodged a complaint after their defeat, which came little over a month after the Pharaohs had lost the Africa Cup of Nations final on penalties to the same opponents, also claiming Salah was subject to racist abuse and their team bus targeted by missiles before the game.

Just as he did in February's Africa Cup of Nations final, Salah's Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane netted the winning spot-kick to hand Senegal a place at the Qatar World Cup.

Now, FIFA's disciplinary committee has punished the African champions for a series of offences, including a "failure to implement existing safety rules and failure to ensure that law and order are maintained in the stadium."

Senegal have also been punished for an "invasion of the field of play, throwing of objects, lighting of fireworks, use of laser pointers and use of objects to transmit a message that is not appropriate for a sports event."

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Football Federation have also been ordered to play a match behind closed doors, and received a fine of $154,000, after a pitch invasion that followed their away-goals elimination against Ghana in Abuja.

Senegal will be making their third appearance at the FIFA World Cup later this year, and will kick the tournament off when they face the Netherlands in Group A on November 21 – the first time since 1954 where the tournament's opening match doesn’t involve either the hosts or the defending champions.

Mohamed Salah, Thiago Alcantara and Trent Alexander-Arnold were all named among the substitutes for Liverpool's Premier League clash with Newcastle United on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp heavily rotated his side.

The Reds travelled to St James' Park in the early kick-off aiming to pick up the win that would see them overtake Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, albeit having played a game more.

Klopp has complained about the timing of the match, coming three days on from facing Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, with the return fixture to come on Tuesday.

The German coach made five changes to face Newcastle on the back of the 2-0 win over Villarreal, with Premier League top scorer Salah and fellow first-team regulars Thiago and Alexander-Arnold among those to drop out.

Fabinho and Ibrahima Konate were also named on the bench, with James Milner, Naby Keita, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Diogo Jota all recalled, the latter making his 50th league appearance for the Reds.

Divock Origi, who starred from the bench in last week's 2-0 win over Everton, was ruled out of the squad due to illness not related to COVID-19.

Newcastle, who had won four in a row heading into the Liverpool match, made three changes as Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron all came into the starting line-up.

Newcastle United XI: Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Bruno Guimaraes, Shelvey, Willock; Almiron, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin.
Subs: Dummett, Lascelles, Ritchie, Manquillo, Wood, Murphy, Darlow, Gayle, Longstaff.

Liverpool XI: Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Milner, Keita; Mane, Diaz, Jota.
Subs: Kelleher, Fabinho, Konate, Thiago, Salah, Jones, Tsimikas, Alexander-Arnold, Elliott.

Jurgen Klopp does not expect news of his new Liverpool contract to have any bearing on the futures of star duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

It was confirmed on Thursday Klopp had agreed a two-year extension to his deal at Anfield, meaning he has committed to Liverpool until 2026.

Egypt forward Salah is soon to enter the final 12 months of his deal and this month described the situation as "really sensitive".

Mane's is also out of contract in 2023 and reports have naturally suggested the focus for Liverpool is now on securing the futures of their best players have tied Klopp down for the foreseeable future.

But Klopp does not necessarily think there is a link between his own long-term plans and those of Salah and Mane.

"That's more a question for the boys to be honest, what it means to them," Klopp told a news conference ahead of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Newcastle United.

"It's fine, my relationship with both is great. In life there are always more things to think about, not only the manger, the coaching staff. 

"We don't know exactly, there's no 100 per cent in this business but it's pretty likely I'll stay for a while. I think everything is clear in this moment.

"If it's a positive sign for the boys then great. I don't think that will be the one decisive thing. 

"They have to make their own decisions in life, it's good. We just have to make sure everyone who wants to be here can know what to expect."

Klopp had previously suggested his old deal, which would have ended in 2024, would be his last at Liverpool.

Asked to explain what changed, he replied: "The main reason for it, I signed the last contract I thought it would be like this [his last deal].

"An idea, a plan would have been [to stay] a long time, [it would have been] eight years in 2024. I thought that will be it

"You [the media] ask me things and I give an answer, what I said I thought it would be it to be honest. I didn't think about it anymore to be honest that's the truth. 

"You ask from time to time, the plan didn't change yet. The plan changed, that's all."

Klopp believes the timing of the news can offer stability to Liverpool, not only now but for further down the line when he eventually does depart the club.

"We want to try and make this club successful for as long as possible, if not forever. That doesn't mean I will be here forever of course," he said.

"It is done early. And it's good for transfer windows. We cannot guarantee success, but we can guarantee stability which in difficult times is a big thing to guarantee.

"For me, at this moment in time, this is the place to be. This club offers a lot, we are building a stand again and it's a sign we never want to stop developing.

"This is no threat, but this is only the start. We really go for it now.

"We can't wait 10 years to make memories. We have to do it now. We have to enjoy the journey. We don't know if we will win anything. But at the moment, we try to squeeze everything out of this season that is possible."

"The last two years were really hard because corona dominated our lives, we thought it was over then 'the other guy' [Vladimir Putin – a reference to Russia's invasion of Ukraine] put us in trouble. So, we have to cherish these moments."

Mohamed Salah has been named the men's Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.

The Egyptian wins the award for the second time in his career after enjoying another fruitful campaign with Liverpool.

Chelsea striker Sam Kerr won the women's award, which for the first time was voted for by the full FWA membership, having previously been decided by a panel of experts.

Salah received 48 per cent of the voting, finishing ahead of Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and West Ham's Declan Rice.

The Liverpool attacker has 44 goal involvements in 44 appearances this season in all competitions (30 goals, 14 assists) as he and his team-mates continue to hunt down what would be an unprecedented quadruple.

Kerr received 40 per cent of votes to beat Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema and Man City's Lauren Hemp, who finished second and third.

The Australian has scored a goal a game in the Women's Super League this season, bagging 18 in 18 for the league leaders, with a further four assists.

Chair of the FWA, Carrie Brown, told the FWA website: "Both Mo and Sam have been outstanding this season, breaking records for both club and country. As well as their performances on the pitch, they are leaders and standard bearers of excellence at their clubs and respective leagues.

"The fact they have won by such convincing margins underlines just how impressive they have been this season which has been recognised by our members."

Both Salah and Kerr will be presented with their awards at a Footballer of the Year dinner on May 5.

The Premier League's longest-serving manager is to remain in his post until 2026 after agreeing a two-year contract extension to his deal at Anfield.

Having already led the Reds to their first ever Premier League title, ending a 30-year wait for top-flight glory, and a sixth European crown since arriving in England in 2015, Klopp is looking to become the first boss to win a historic quadruple in another fine campaign.

Liverpool finished eighth when Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers during the 2015-16 season but the German's canny recruiting has helped restore the club to one of the game's global powerhouses.

And Stats Perform has used Opta data to run through the club's best signings of the Klopp era.

Sadio Mane

Having led the Reds to EFL Cup and Europa League finals after inheriting a squad built by predecessor Brendan Rodgers, Klopp went about remodelling his team in 2016, with then-Southampton forward Mane representing the biggest arrival ahead of his first full campaign at the helm.

Mane registered 13 goals and seven assists in his debut season, with only Phillipe Coutinho managing more goal contributions for the Reds (14 goals and nine assists). The Senegal forward managed his best campaign to date when scoring 26 goals in all competitions two years later, also winning a vital penalty in the opening stages of their Champions League final win over Spurs.

Including this season, Mane has hit 20 goals in four of his last five campaigns at Anfield, more than paying back his £30million price tag.

Mohamed Salah

If Mane's arrival was a success, where do you start with the debut campaign of Salah, who joined Mane and Roberto Firmino to form a fearsome Reds front three in 2017?

In all competitions, Salah scored an unbelievable 43 goals and registered 14 assists during his first season with the club as Liverpool finished as Champions League runners-up. Salah has hit 117 goals in 176 Premier League appearances for the Reds, has scored in a Champions League final victory and won two Premier League golden boots to date, with another extremely likely to follow this term.

Not bad for a player Chelsea let go for a reported £13.5million back in 2016…

Virgil van Dijk

While Salah and Mane have arguably provided the most magical moments for Klopp's Liverpool, would any of their incredible successes have been possible without the acquisition of Van Dijk in January 2018?

With former club Southampton receiving a reported £75million for his services, Van Dijk certainly did not come cheap, but it could be argued no other player can rival his impact at Anfield. Having conceded 38 league goals in 2017-18, Liverpool shipped just 22 in Van Dijk's first full season with the club as they were crowned European champions and narrowly missed out on the Premier League title.

Indeed, after racking up 97 points that season, Liverpool earned 99 when winning their first Premier League title in 2019-20, 30 more than they earned in the 2020-21 campaign when Van Dijk was sidelined by an ACL injury.

Allison 

The 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid was a turning point for Klopp's Liverpool. The heavy metal football that propelled Klopp to stardom had gotten the Reds so far, but Loris Karius' costly errors demonstrated their need for a safer pair of hands.

For all that Van Dijk's brilliance contributed to Liverpool's incredible defensive record in 2018-19, Allison's arrival must also be credited after he kept 21 clean sheets and recorded a save percentage of 77.08 per cent that term. The Brazilian could yet better those statistics this season, posting 19 Premier League clean sheets to date.

Liverpool's shot-stopper even popped up with a vital goal against West Brom last season to help secure Champions League qualification.

The Hull City left-back, the silky Spaniard and Liverpool's next great attackers: The best of the rest…

Klopp's Liverpool have generally recruited brilliantly since his arrival, and while the aforementioned quartet have arguably had the greatest impact on the team's development, there are numerous others who warrant a mention.

In terms of pure value-for-money, no signing can match the £7million purchase of Andrew Robertson, with only Trent Alexander-Arnold (17) beating the Scot's 15 assists in all competitions this season.

Thiago Alcantara, who arrived from Bayern Munich ahead of lasts season, took a while to convince some doubters, largely owing to the silky midfielder's bad fortune with injuries, but the Barcelona man has been inspirational in recent weeks and no regular Reds midfielder can match his passing accuracy of 89.56 per cent this term (all competitions).

If Liverpool could be said to have had one weakness in recent seasons, meanwhile, it was a lack of reliable back-ups for Salah and Mane.

However, the form of Diogo Jota and January arrival Luis Diaz has been crucial to Liverpool's quadruple bid. With Jota averaging a goal every 134.6 minutes in the Premier League this term, and Diaz recording five goal contributions (three goals, two assists) in just seven league starts, the duo could be crucial in Klopp's next cycle.

Mohamed Salah has set his sights on further Champions League and domestic success with Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp's side face Villarreal in the first leg of their semi-final encounter on Wednesday, just under three years on from their last triumph in the tournament. The Champions League is one of three trophies that Liverpool are still in the hunt for this season, having already won the EFL Cup.

Salah helped Liverpool to victory in an all-English affair against Tottenham on that occasion in 2019, and says he wants to recapture those highs with a second European crown.

"I want to have the feeling again that we had after winning the Champions League," he told the club's matchday programme ahead of the game.

"It was unbelievable and in my mind that's why I want to win it again with Liverpool. The feeling we had in the city when we went on the bus and toured was unbelievable. 

"The Premier League was kind of different because it was not done [due to COVID-19 restrictions], but I want to win the Champions League again and I want to win the Premier League again. 

"That is my target with the team right now."

Salah has enjoyed another prolific campaign at Anfield, and is the leading scorer in the Premier League this season with 22 goals to his name, five ahead of his nearest rival Son Heung-min of Tottenham.

But the forward feels he has more to give than what he has delivered, adding: "I saw my game improving, but the season before last I had 19 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League.

"In my first season it was also 10 assists, so I'm always trying to score goals and give assists. 

"That is always my game and this season I feel a lot of improvement with the ball, but I go back to what I said before. The most important thing is to help this team win trophies and I am trying to help to do that."

Liverpool must do everything in their power to agree new contracts with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

That is the opinion of former Liverpool striker Durk Kuyt, who has urged his old club to seal the futures of two of their star attackers.

Mane joined Liverpool from Southampton in June 2016, the year before Salah traded Roma for Anfield.

Since Salah scored on his debut against Watford in the Premier League in August 2017, no player has netted more times in the competition than the forward, who has 117 goals in 176 league appearances for the Reds.

Meanwhile, Mane is joint-fourth on the list of Premier League goalscorers in that same timeframe, behind Harry Kane (100) and Jamie Vardy (86), alongside Raheem Sterling on 75.

The duo have been integral to Jurgen Klopp's success, which includes a Champions League and Premier League title. But both of their contracts expire at the end of next season.

Negotiations are ongoing with Salah, who wants Liverpool to break their wage structure to agree new terms, but Kuyt insists both players must be retained.

"Of course it's important to keep your best players and I'm sure Liverpool will do everything they can to get hold on of these players," Kuyt told Stats Perform.

"You're always looking to improve your squad but if you are Liverpool, you're also trying to keep the best players and for me Mane is definitely one of them.

"Just like I said, he's scoring goals, such important goals in an attacking role. [He is] very important for the team but also even last week I saw him you know defending, tackling, sprinting back and that's how Jurgen loves his players."

Mane netted the priceless second-half equaliser in a thrilling 2-2 draw against Premier League leaders Manchester City earlier in April to keep Liverpool's title and quadruple hopes alive.

However, the 30-year-old has been under added pressure since the January signing of Luis Diaz, with Mane forced into a more central role when Klopp prefers to play Salah and the Colombia international either side of him. That has not derailed his form, though.

"It's pretty amazing how Mane is managing these changes in the team because he started on the right when he was coming," former Netherlands international Kuyt added. 

"Then he went to the left and now Diaz is playing the games on the left and he's starting to play central and still doing great jobs.

"I think it's the togetherness of the five attacking players because we also have Jota and Firmino, they are very important for the team, that togetherness of scoring as many goals together but also defending very well together.

"I think this is the biggest strength of Liverpool and probably Liverpool has the best attack in the world."

Kuyt also praised Diaz for the speed in which he has settled in at Liverpool following his January transfer from Porto for an initial £37million (€43.9m).

"You can speak the language of football and when you speak that language it's pretty easy to understand. But I think I said before how important Diaz is for the team, and how special it is that he coped so well since his arrival," Kuyt said.

"He's been in a new country, a new culture, new team, new coach, so he has to learn the tactics of the team."

Manchester City and Liverpool will put their epic Premier League title race on hold for a few days, as they have the small matter of the Champions League semi-finals to think about.

City are hoping to go one better than last year after losing in the final to Chelsea. Standing in their way in the last four are Real Madrid, who eliminated the holders in the quarter-finals and boast a striker in Karim Benzema who has 12 goals in nine Champions League appearances this season.

Also facing LaLiga opposition are Liverpool, though Villarreal are unlikely to be a team they expected to meet at this stage of the competition.

Led by a knockout football specialist in Unai Emery, Villarreal cannot be taken lightly by the Reds, even with Emery's men historically struggling in games in England.

Ahead of the first legs, Stats Perform digs into some of the best Opta numbers around the two semi-final ties.

Manchester City v Real Madrid

Madrid might just be beginning to feel it is their year after progressing from remarkable knockout ties against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

However, the omens are against them ahead of their first leg with City. Los Blancos haven't won on any of their previous three trips to face Manchester City in European competition (two draws, one defeat), with the most recent two coming in the knockout stages of the Champions League – a 0-0 draw in the 2015-16 semi-final first leg and a 2-1 loss in the 2019-20 last-16 second leg.

Pep Guardiola won't need any additional motivation as he looks to finally end his wait for a Champions League triumph with City, and the Barcelona legend can complete a historic hat-trick by overseeing an elimination of Madrid.

Indeed, Guardiola has eliminated Madrid from the knockout stages of the Champions League on two previous occasions, beating them 3-1 on aggregate in the 2010-11 semi-finals with Barcelona and 4-2 on aggregate in the 2019-20 last-16 with City. He is looking to become the first manager to eliminate Madrid from the competition on three occasions.

Madrid won away from home in the first leg at Chelsea in the quarter-finals, their only victory in their last six away games against English teams in the Champions League. No team has ever beaten two different English sides away from home in the knockout stages in a single Champions League campaign.

Champions League history between the two managers, however, is with Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti. He and Guardiola have faced each other six times, with the City boss claiming four wins to Ancelotti's two.

However, all four of Guardiola's wins came with City against Ancelotti's Everton, while the Italian saw his Madrid side beat Guardiola's Bayern Munich in both legs of the 2013-14 Champions League semi-finals, claiming a 5-0 aggregate triumph. Such a one-sided tie is unlikely this time around.

Liverpool v Villarreal

Villarreal are arguably the story of the 2021-22 Champions League, having sensationally knocked out Juventus and Bayern Munich to reach this stage.

However, games in England have historically been a problem for the Yellow Submarine. Since a 2-1 victory over Everton back in August 2005, Villarreal haven't managed to win any of their last eight away games in England in all competitions (three draws, five defeats), tasting defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford in the group stages earlier this season.

Despite Villarreal's well-organised defensive set-up, a high-scoring game could well be in the offing. During his managerial career, Villarreal boss Emery has faced Liverpool five times (once with Sevilla and four times with Arsenal), with those matches producing 26 goals (5.2 per game on average), and both teams netting in each.

Liverpool will be the clear favourites to do the majority of that goalscoring. Of the 12 sides to have reached the semi-finals of the European Cup/Champions League on at least five occasions, only Benfica (seven wins from eight) and Milan (10/12) have a higher ratio of progressing to the final than Liverpool (82%), who have managed to reach the final on nine of their previous 11 semi-final appearances.

Although Liverpool possess serious depth in attack with Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz playing significant roles, Mohamed Salah is still the obvious candidate to be their talisman.

Only in 2017-18 (10) has Salah scored more Champions League goals in a single campaign than the eight he has scored this season, moving his tally for the club onto 33. The Egyptian is just three behind both Didier Drogba (Chelsea) and Sergio Aguero (Man City) for the most goals netted in the competition for an English side (both 36).

Yet Emery's track record in Europe should have Liverpool fans nervous that he could be the man to dash their quadruple dreams.

The only European meeting between Emery and Liverpool was the 2016 Europa League final, in which Emery's Sevilla side beat Klopp's Reds 3-1. On top of that, since the start of the 2009-10 season, the year of the inaugural UEFA Europa League campaign, Emery has progressed from 84 per cent of his Europa League/Champions League knockout ties (31/37).

That is second-best ratio of any manager to have taken charge of at least 10 ties, after only Zinedine Zidane (14/16 – 88%).

The records and statistics are there to be broken, so we are told, and never was that more true than on Everton's most recent trip to fierce rivals Liverpool in February 2021.

An early Richarlison strike and Gylfi Sigurdsson's late sealer from the penalty spot earned Everton a 2-0 win, snapping the Toffees' 22-year wait for victory at Anfield.

That success, coming on the back of a 20-game winless run away to Liverpool in the Premier League, gave Everton bragging rights and moved them level on points with the Reds.

Fourteen months on from that game, though, and the fortunes of the rival clubs could not be much different.

While Liverpool are still on track for an unprecedented quadruple of Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Champions League, relegation is a real possibility for Everton.

The stakes could not be much higher in this latest encounter at Anfield, then, in a contest that will have huge permutations at both ends of the division.


Liverpool targeting rare derby double

That aforementioned defeat in this corresponding fixture last season was the only time Liverpool have lost to Everton in their past 22 Premier League encounters.

The Reds eased to a 4-1 win when the sides last met four months ago, but only once in the past 10 seasons – in 2016-17 – have they completed the league double in this fixture.

While Everton have struggled for victories against their neighbours, they have at least managed to claim plenty of draws down the years.

Indeed, no Premier League fixture has finished level more often than this one, with the sides playing out 24 draws in total.

Red cards and late drama

The Merseyside derby is also out in front in another couple of categories, namely the most red cards issued, proving this game lives up to its reputation as being a fierce contest.

Twenty-two red cards have been dished out in 59 previous Premier League encounters, which is five more than any other fixture.

Liverpool versus Everton has also witnessed the most 90th-minute winners in the competition's history, with five goals being scored in added time at the end of a game.

They don't like Sundays

On the form book alone, Everton do not stand a chance this weekend. 

The Toffees have lost 10 of their last 11 away league games, including each of the last six, which is their worst-such run since going eight without a point in 1994.

Unsurprisingly, then, Everton have won fewer away points than any Premier League side this term with just six, whereas Liverpool's 42 home points is more than anyone else.

Yet Sunday may just be the best time for Frank Lampard's men to face the team from across Stanley Park.

Having won 14 straight home Premier League matches on that day of the week, Liverpool have since won just two of their last seven Sunday fixtures, losing two of those.

Salah out to shine

Amid ongoing questions over his future, Mohamed Salah returned to form by scoring his first goals in seven matches for Liverpool in the midweek win over Manchester United.

Everton need no telling of Salah's eye for goal as the Egypt international was on target twice in December's reverse fixture, with Jordan Henderson and Diogo Jota also netting.

Salah is now out to become the first Liverpool player since Dick Forshaw in 1925-26 to score multiple goals in both league meetings with Everton in a single campaign.

All eyes may be on Salah, but back-up striker Divock Origi has also inflicted his fair share of pain on Everton.

Origi's five Premier League goals against Everton are the most he has managed against a single side, and three of those have proved to be the winning strike.

Mohamed Salah thinks he will sign a new contract with Liverpool but says there are no guarantees he will remain at Anfield.

Salah has just over a year remaining on his deal and has been unable to agree terms to extend his stay on Merseyside.

The prolific Egypt forward has reiterated that he is not looking to move on and a decision over his future will not be based on money alone.

Asked by FourFourTwo if he will sign a new contract, he said: "Yeah. Er, I think so?"

Salah then quipped: "But if they want me to go, that’s something different!"

The 29-year-old added: "I don’t know, I have one year left. I think the fans know what I want, but in the contract it's not everything about the money at all.

"So I don't know, I can't tell you exactly. I have one year left and the fans know what I want."

Liverpool remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple and Salah he is not concerned by uncertainty over his future with so much to play for late in the season.

"I'm not worried, I don't let myself worry about something," the former Chelsea and Roma man said. 

"The season didn't finish yet, so let's finish it in the best possible way – that's the most important thing. Then in the last year, we're going to see what's going to happen."

Mohamed Salah has denied criticising Manchester United's players after he scored twice in Liverpool's rampant 4-0 win over the Red Devils.

Having also scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win at Old Trafford in October, Salah's double on Tuesday meant he became the first player in Premier League history to score five goals against United in a single season in the competition.

Liverpool's dominant display also saw them go top of the Premier League, ahead of rivals Manchester City's clash with Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.

After the match, Salah seemed to tell Sky Sports that United's players "make life easier" for the Reds, when answering a question about Liverpool's recent dominance in the rivalry.

However, the Premier League's leading scorer insisted this was not the case, and explained that he was referring to the quality of his own team-mates.

"I meant our midfield, and our defence, make it easy for us," Salah clarified in a tweet on Wednesday. 

"I was not talking about the Manchester United players, whom I respect."

Having teed up Luis Diaz's opener at Anfield, Salah also became just the second player to both score and assist in home and away Premier League games against United in a single season, after Mesut Ozil did so in 2015-16.

Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last eight league games against United, winning five and drawing three.

It is the joint-longest run any team has ever managed against United in the competition (Chelsea also went eight unbeaten between 2013 and 2016).

Marcus Rashford "played like a child" in Manchester United's defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday, according to a despairing Roy Keane. 

A toothless United succumbed to a 4-0 defeat at Anfield that enabled rivals Liverpool, who are still chasing an unprecedented quadruple, to go top of the Premier League. 

Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah put Jurgen Klopp's side in command as the Red Devils produced an abject first-half display in which they failed to attempt a single shot. That had not happened in the top flight since a 3-2 win over Manchester City in April 2018.

Rashford managed just nine touches in the opening period and had only two in Liverpool's box across the entire 90 minutes, with Sadio Mane and a second from Salah consigning United to a resounding loss.

"It was anger earlier in the season, now it's just sadness. You look at the team today, I don't think there's any heart there. There's no soul, there's no leaders. They lack real quality, they're so far off," Keane said working as a pundit for Sky Sports. 

"There's disarray at the club from the top. The fans have no time for the owners. They need a new manager, they need players in, they need players out. 

"It's so sad to see. It's not the club I played for. It doesn't reflect what the club stood for when I played, it's chalk and cheese. I don't see a Man United team out there fighting and playing with pride. It's so sad watching this team. 

"They're the opposite of what you'd want in a top team. When the going gets tough, they just crumble. It's a long way back for this club. When I played there was always that bit of pride. I think that's gone out of the club now. 

"There's no team at Man United. Some good individuals when they turn up and they fancy it, but when the going gets tough or they're under the cosh, that's it, they're out of it. They haven't got that team spirit that you need.

Paul Pogba – who was booed by his own fans during the 3-2 win against Norwich City at the weekend – came off injured early in the game at Anfield, replaced by Jesse Lingard, and Keane was not impressed by the sub.

"Jesse Lingard's coming on to try to save Man United? Jesse Lingard should've left Man United two years ago. He's not good enough for Man United," he said.

"Marcus Rashford played like a child up front. OK, he wasn't getting service, but the one or two bits he got in the first half, a poor touch.

"Harry Maguire – the last goal – his passing and defending was unacceptable, not good enough for Manchester United.

"So we have to use that word again, talk about a rebuilding job. Man United have to get players in first of all who are hopefully decent lads, good-quality pros, talented to try to compete. United are sixth in the league – unbelievable." 

Mohamed Salah ended a scoring drought to make Premier League history against Manchester United, but the Liverpool attacker was never worried about his barren run. 

After six appearances without a goal in all competitions, Salah added to Luis Diaz's opener in the 4-0 victory over United that sent the Reds top of the Premier League on Tuesday. 

The Egypt international doubled his tally in the 85th minute, becoming the first player to score five Premier League goals against United in a single campaign. 

Salah's double ended a two-month wait for a goal from open play in the Premier League, with his prior three having come from the penalty spot.

"I said before many times, I score many goals for this club. It's going to keep coming," Salah told Sky Sports. 

"Sometimes you have bad luck, but the team winning is the most important thing. If the team wasn't winning, I wouldn't be happy. But if the team's winning, everything's going to come, so I was not worried about that." 

Sadio Mane was also on target as Liverpool completed a double over the Red Devils by an aggregate scoreline of 9-0. The only time United have suffered a heavier joint loss in their league history was 11-0 against Sunderland in 1892-93. 

Asked to explain Liverpool's dominance of the rivalry this season, Salah said: "They make our life easy, in the midfield and the back. They always try to give us the ball in a one-on-one. 

"When we defend well, we had a clean sheet here and a clean sheet there, they make our lives easier to score. We go to the game and just want to score. Once we get the first, we want the second. Once we get the second, we want the third. 

"It's a top performance from us here and away also, so we'll hopefully just carry on like this."  

City can replace Liverpool at the summit when they take on Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday, and Salah acknowledged it is a tall order to expect Pep Guardiola's side to drop points. 

"It's great [to be top]. Let's wait until tomorrow because City also is not an easy team to drop points," said Salah. 

"We just have to focus on ourselves and the rest is not in our hands. We just focus on our games and we'll see." 

Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool went top of the Premier League thanks to a resounding 4-0 victory over an abject Manchester United at Anfield on Tuesday. 

Luis Diaz and Salah were on target inside 22 minutes to put Jurgen Klopp's side on course to leapfrog defending champions Manchester City, who will hope to return to the summit when they face Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday. 

United failed to produce a single shot in the first half of a Premier League game for the first time in four years. On that occasion they came from 2-0 down to beat City 3-2, but there were scant signs of such a stirring fightback this time. 

Sadio Mane made sure of that by adding a fine finish to his exemplary assist for Salah, who sealed Liverpool's first Premier League double over United since the 2013-14 season.

The Reds wasted little time in taking the lead, with Salah exposing United's lacklustre defence and squaring for Diaz to tap home after five minutes. 

The fans joined together in a touching show of support for Cristiano Ronaldo in the seventh minute, with the United forward absent following the death of his baby son. 

Paul Pogba was forced off with an injury and Liverpool doubled their lead when Salah added a fine finish to a slick move involving Diaz, Joel Matip and Mane. 

United showed more gumption after a change of shape for the second half from interim boss Ralf Rangnick, with half-time introduction Jadon Sancho finally working Alisson with an effort.

Alisson did well to deny Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga in quick succession after the hour mark, but Liverpool extended their advantage in the 68th minute when Mane swept a delivery from Diaz beyond David de Gea and into the bottom-right corner.

Salah then looped the ball over De Gea with five minutes remaining as United were emphatically consigned to a third straight Premier League away defeat for only the fourth time in the history of the competition.

What does it mean? Liverpool back on top 

Man City looked destined to cruise to the title when they held a 14-point lead over Liverpool as recently as January 15, even though the Reds had two games in hand. 

But Liverpool have now won 11 of their 12 games since – their only dropped points being last week's draw with Pep Guardiola's side – to put themselves firmly in contention for an unprecedented quadruple. 

Thiago keeps it ticking

Thiago Alcantara again absolutely bossed the midfield for Liverpool. He completed 105 of his 110 passes – both game highs – and lost possession just six times, which was the fewest of any Reds player. His seven duels won were also more than any other player on the pitch. 

Salah back on song 

A run of six appearances in all competitions without a goal came to an end for Salah. These were his first Liverpool goals since March 12 and a full two months since he last converted in open play in the top flight.

What's next? 

Liverpool take on Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday, while United are in action at Arsenal on Saturday. 

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