Mohamed Salah broke more Premier League records as he contributed to Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on a joyous final day of the Premier League season at Anfield.
The Reds went into the clash knowing only defeat combined with a Chelsea win at Newcastle United would see them slip to fifth, neither happening as the Blues went down at St James’.
‘Egyptian King’ Salah and Dejan Lovren were amongst the goals in the first half, their strikes added to after the break by Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson scoring their first Liverpool goals.
Brighton were safe from instant relegation back down to the Sky Bet Championship ahead of the match after beating Manchester United 1-0 a week earlier so the travelling fans were enjoying a day out in the Northern sun.
Whilst it all ended rosy for Liverpool there were early fears that the Reds could be upset by a Brighton side prepared to attack more than they might have a few weeks ago.
However, that attacking license only left spaces for an attacking Liverpool side to exploit, Jordan Henderson going close early on as he lashed one wide.
From then on it was all Liverpool, with the Kop perplexed that referee Kevin Friend missed what looked like two blatant penalties in the Brighton area, a handball from Shane Duffy and a trip on Mohamed Salah.
With the home fans incensed, there was one man on hand to restore their jubilant mood, as he has so many times this season.
Salah’s record breaking 32nd league goal of the season came as a result of good work from Trent Alexander-Arnold, driving forward with the ball to slip it to Solanke, the striker’s resulting flick allowing Salah to fire into the bottom corner.
The Egyptian should have had another soon after, Sadio Mane looking to play him in as the winger burst through on goal, only for some top goalkeeping from Matt Ryan – a theme of the afternoon – to thwart the pair.
Liverpool would get their second before the interval, Dejan Lovren with just his second goal of the season. With Brighton camped in their area following a set-piece, Lovren rose highest in the air to get on the end of Andy Robertson’s inviting cross.
That took the sting out of any potential Brighton comeback and set Liverpool up for a comfortable second-half, which included Solanke’s first goal for the club.
Good work from Salah saw him evade two challenges before sliding in the youngster, Solanke taking his opportunity by smashing the ball into the roof of the net.
The third goal seemed to be enough for Liverpool to put their slippers on, Brighton already at the beach. Anfield was quieter until the dying minutes, reignited by a first Liverpool goal for left-back Robertson.
Substitute Danny Ings got down the by-line to whip a dangerous ball across, Brighton’s back-line only able to divert the ball out to Robertson, the Scotsman making no mistake as he lashed the ball hard and low into the net.