Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah has become Liverpool’s all-time top goal scorer in Europe after netting his 42nd goal in Liverpool’s home defeat to current Uefa Champions League holders, Real Madrid.
Mo Salah scored Liverpool’s second of the night in the 14th minute after assisting Darwin Nunez’s flicked-in opener in the fourth minute, before Vinicius Jr. pulled one back, and inspired the 13-time UCL winners to a 5-2 win in Merseyside.
Salah overtakes club legend Steven Gerrard, who has 41 goals in European competitions for Liverpool. He also overtook Gerrard’s record for most goals at Anfield in European competitions in his 66th UCL appearance for the reds.
The Egyptian joined Liverpool in 2017 from AS Roma for a then-club-record fee of £36.5 million. He has now scored a total of 175 goals for the club, winning three golden boots in six years, and becoming the highest-scoring African player in Premier League history.
Salah’s record-breaking night was one of the mixed feelings, as Real Madrid shredded his side in their 11th meeting.
Vini’s double was enough to square both sides. Militao’s 47th-minute header which climaxed Madrid’s dominance in the second period gave the side which initially trailed, the lead. Liverpool’s hopes were shattered after Benzema scored in the 55th and 67th minute to wrap up what became a one-sided contest ahead of the second leg at the Bernabeu.
The reds’ defeat on Tuesday night also came with some not-so-good coincidence. Liverpool, for the first time, conceded five goals at Anfield in a European match. It was also the first time they lost the first leg of a UCL tie at Anfield, to a European club.
The club’s first two defeats were to Leeds in 1971, in the Fairs Cup semi-final, and to Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-final in 2009. They also became the first team in UCL history to lose by a three-goal margin after a 2-0 lead.
Liverpool also reached a landmark of 150 goals in the UCL under manager Jurgen Klopp who was in charge for his 66th fixture since he was appointed in 2015.
Real Madrid has now successively won seven of their 11 total meetings with Liverpool, beating them in two UCL finals – 2018, and 2022. Liverpool has won only three times against the Spanish side, winning the 1981 European Cup final, and drawing once.
Liverpool would be looking to overturn their three-goal deficit at Bernabeu. The last two times they have done so are in the 2005 “miraculous” final against AC Milan, and the 2019 semi-final against Messi’s Barcelona. Klopp believes it would be a “massive challenge”, whilst former reds forward Adam Lallana believes it’s “near-impossible”.