Soccer

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah ends goal drought in triumph over Southampton

AP

Mohamed Salah chose the perfect moment to end the longest goal drought of his Liverpool career.

It helped to lift his team back to the top of the Premier League.

Salah scored for the first time in nine games — a barren streak stretching back nearly two months — as Liverpool came from behind to beat Southampton 3-1 on Friday and move back into first place, two points above Manchester City.

The Egypt forward completed Liverpool’s comeback after falling behind in the ninth minute when he collected the ball 10 meters inside his own half on a counterattack, sprinted forward and sent a dipping shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area in the 80th minute.

He removed his jersey in celebration in front of Liverpool’s jubilant fans, who were jumping up and down in delight again six minutes later when Jordan Henderson added a third goal at St. Mary’s Stadium.

City has a game in hand but isn’t in league action this weekend because it is playing in the F.A. Cup semifinals. This season, the defending champion has a title rival that just won’t go away.

Liverpool is showing amazing spirit and powers of recovery as it goes for a first league title since 1990, with this win coming five days after benefiting from a 90th-minute own goal to beat Tottenham at Anfield.

In the league game before that, Liverpool needed an 81st-minute penalty to see off lowly Fulham.

“The performance was not top level, but it is about fighting,” manager Juergen Klopp said. “People want us to play like Manchester City. We are unable to do that. We play our own football.

“We have 82 points now. That is massive in this crazy league and everyone is waiting for us. I am really proud. It is incredible.”