Stunning Salah.

Published: Monday, 04 October 2021

Stunning. It was absolutely stunning. I said on the day and I’ll repeat it now - the only other player on the planet that could’ve scored that goal is Messi. It was a work of art. A thing a rare beauty. It needed no words as we looked at it time and again on BeINSPORTS. Nothing that me, Andy or Nigel de Jong were going to say could’ve added anything. Mo Salah’s goal against City was the highlight of a wonderful second half.

It was one of those rare moments that brought spontaneous applause from the whole studio - even Andy - who’s a blue - but knew immediately that we’d all just witnessed something special. It’s my new favourite all-time PL goal. Sorry Tiss! 

Le Tissier’s at The Dell against Newcastle, all those years ago, had been. It some ways that one had many of the same ingredients - so much happening in such a short space - up, over, round, goal - Tiss doing what he did best - everything at his pace. His mate, Mike Osman, reckons Tiss invented ‘walking’ football! He’s not far wrong. 😂.

Salah’s finished with a burst of awesome power before he angled the ball past Ederson - but it started out much the same way. His dancing feet were incredible. What a goal. Thank you Mo.

The game was squeezed into 45 blistering minutes. The first half was poor. I didn’t enjoy it at all, but our heavyweight title challengers really made up for it as they traded blows after the break. The draw was fair.

I wasn’t surprised to see Nuno leave Dele out. And Solskjaer had to start Cavani. Strange. Did both managers read last week’s blog? 😂.

Solskjaer started his best centre-forward, but strangely chose to withdraw him after an hour. I’ve no idea why - but more significantly - Cavani was both puzzled and furious. My mole working near the dugouts tells me he stormed past Solskjaer when he came off, but quickly changed his mind about ignoring the manager and shook hands. But make no mistake - he wasn’t happy and there’s trouble brewing there.

What’s more baffling is why Ronaldo didn’t start. Why did he need a rest when he’s not playing again until the weekend - and maybe not at all? I can’t think Portugal will need him to beat Qatar in their friendly. It was another daft decision by Solskjaer - this one compounded by the inclusion of Martial. Why didn’t he play Ronaldo left of his three up top? I’ve never understood managers leaving players out - only to find themselves needing them to chase a game. Why not get it won - and then take them off? Ole’s still at the wheel - but for how much longer I wonder?

Back to the game at Spurs. Can someone please answer me this? Why is it acceptable for a team to use a long throw if a ‘specialist’ coach has decided it’s a good idea - but it’s football from the dark ages if the likes of Pulis, Allardyce or similar do it?

Austin MacPhee has got Matty Cash causing havoc when he tosses a long ball in. It’s a smart move if you’ve got someone in the team that can throw the ball into the 6-yard box. MacPhee is winning a lot of friends with his set-piece work at Villa, but it does make me laugh - for the reason I’ve stated above. When others have done it down the years - they’ve been slated for it. Perceptions eh?

Set-piece coaches are all the rage it seems. Ok, if they can bring something to the party - why not? But surely getting Cash to toss a throw into the 6-yard box is something that Dean Smith could’ve thought of? Or is that too simple? Have we got another example here of coaches getting ‘too clever?’ Sorry Phil. 😂😂