Oleksandr Zinchenko names Liverpool combination that was 'impossible' to defend against

Arsenal's Oleksandr Zinchenko has named Mohamed Salah as his toughest opponent, calling the Liverpool forward 'unstoppable'.

26-year-old Zinchenko was speaking to Rio Ferdinand on his FIVE YouTube channel and was asked to name the hardest player he's had to face in his career.

The Ukrainian picked Salah, calling the Egyptian “absolutely explosive and unstoppable", before recalling an encounter in the Community Shield back in 2019.

Zinchenko, then at Manchester City, came out victorious that day as the Citizens won on penalties, but revealed how he was run ragged by a combination of Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum.

He said: “What Liverpool did so well, especially when [Gini] Wijnaldum was there, because Wijnaldum is more like box-to-box. Community Shield game against Liverpool [in 2019], penalties, we won that game. Mikel [Arteta] was still there and I went to the dressing room at half-time and said ‘Mikel, what do I need to do with this?

“What Liverpool did so well, especially when [Gini] Wijnaldum was there, because Wijnaldum is more like box-to-box. Community Shield game against Liverpool [in 2019], penalties, we won that game. Mikel [Arteta] was still there and I went to the dressing room at half-time and said ‘Mikel, what do I need to do with this?'

“‘[Virgil] Van Dijk on the ball, he’s playing on the left-side on the right foot, without pressure, he does first touch, Wijnaldum runs behind between me and [Nicolas] Otamendi, I need to protect inside, Salah drops wide, the ball to feet and the distance between me and Salah, 50 meters. Imagine his pace against me, I’m finished. What do I need to do, there was like five balls like this in a row.’

“He said, ‘the only one way is to ask Raz (Sterling) who was playing on the left, to come to drop a bit lower to leave Trent. If you stay with Salah it’s a big gap for Wijnaldum. And when Mo is receiving the ball at his feet and he gets the pace… it’s impossible, impossible.”

Despite Zinchenko's struggles that day, it was actually Joel Matip who scored for the Reds as the game finished 1-1 in normal time, before City won 5-4 on penalties.

Share This Article