Mohamed Salah shows he's human with remarkable unwanted stat against Brighton

It's easy to forget that Liverpool's 2-1 win against Brighton on Sunday saw Mohamed Salah start a Premier League match for the first time since New Year's Day. 

The 31-year-old's involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations and subsequent injury woes have limited his minutes in 2024, with Salah having made just seven Liverpool appearances this year.

To say the Egyptian was a little rusty against the Seagulls at the weekend would be an understatement, and he was far from his electric best despite being heavily involved throughout.

Yet, as Salah so often does, he walked away from the match with the winning goal, a calm finish following Alexis Mac Allister's wonderful pass in the 65th minute.

However, that winner doesn't quite tell the true tale of his game, with the forward struggling to find his shooting boots for the majority of the match.

MOHAMED SALAH SETS A NEW LIVERPOOL RECORD

There was a huge sense of relief for both Salah and the Anfield faithful when his ninth shot of the match found its way into the bottom corner in the second half, with Liverpool's ruthless attacker having been uncharacteristically wasteful up until that point.

That profligacy continued after he found the net as well, with Salah finishing the match with a remarkable 12 shots on the Brighton goal across the 90 minutes.

According to Opta, that's not only the most shots Salah has ever recorded in an English top-flight game, it's also the most of any Liverpool player in a Premier League match since Opta started recording such data in 2003/04.

It's also more shots than any player has had in the competition since Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 12 efforts against Burnley in October 2016 - a game which somehow ended goalless.

While Salah's persistence paid off in the end, he finished the game with an xG of 1.5 and he will be disappointed with his wastefulness given the promising openings he was gifted.

To have missed two big chances, put fewer than half his shots on target (4/9) and come away with just the one goal will undoubtedly frustrate a player of such quality and competitiveness.

However, there is no doubt that Salah will shake off that rust soon, and he will already be eyeing up a leaky Sheffield United defence on Thursday evening.

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