Sports Xtra

Salah sets Premier League record as Liverpool secure fourth
Salah sets Premier League record as Liverpool secure fourth

Salah sets Premier League record as Liverpool secure fourth

Written by Gideon Sarpong
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Mohamed Salah set a new Premier League scoring record as Liverpool sealed a place in next season's Champions League with an empathic victory over Brighton, and manager Jurgen Klopp believes the forward can "still improve so much".

It was an impressive Liverpool performance on a perfect sunny afternoon at Anfield and Klopp's side lingered long after the final whistle, soaking up the celebratory atmosphere with the Champions League final against Real Madrid to come on 26 May.

"Two weeks' break is perfect for us," said Klopp. "We will be ready for the final. This group of players really deserve it. They keep moving to the next level."

Salah was the centre of attention as he was feted on his side's home pitch after the match. There was the Golden Boot for Premier League's top scorer to be presented, the club's player of the year trophy too. The forward was clearly moved, and he shared the moment with his wife and young daughter.

It was his record goal that set the Reds on course to blowing Brighton away. The opener, a low finish from Dominic Solanke's pass, was his 32nd goal of the campaign - the most by a player in a 38-game Premier League season.

Dejan Lovren doubled the lead by powerfully heading in Andrew Robertson's cross and after the break it was more of the same - Liverpool continued to dominate.

Solanke smashed in his first goal for the club off the underside of the bar, having met Salah's lay-off at the end of a strong run, while full-back Andrew Robertson also got his first Liverpool goal, sweeping in from close range with five minutes to play.

Liverpool would have slipped out of the top four had they lost and Chelsea beaten Newcastle, but they made sure the Blues' performance - a 3-0 defeat at St James' Park - was irrelevant.

Victory meant the Reds matched their fourth-place finish of last season - they would have moved up to third had Tottenham not edged a thrilling 5-4 win at home to Leicester - while Brighton ended their first top-flight campaign since 1983 in the safety of 15th.