Richard Buxton: The Egyptian King lies in wait
While Player of the Year Salah has fallen short in other milestones, a bigger coronation could come soon
Mohamed Salah set about writing his own chapter in history yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Liverpool's comfortable 2-0 win over Chelsea could prove a watershed moment in the battle to hunt down the team that continue to steamroller through the season at the Etihad Stadium.
The history of others has plagued the Egyptian's first two years on Merseyside.
All signs pointed to Ian Rush's 47-goal haul in a single season, uncontested for 34 years, finally being eclipsed.
Except Liverpool's latest free-scoring talisman ran out of steam, scoring just once in his final four games of 2017/18.
This term, further immortality beckoned with the chance to equal and even better Alan Shearer with the quickest half-century for one club in English Premier League history.
Once more, Salah managed to fall short with an eight-game drought finally ended against Southampton - but three matches too late to etch his name into the record books.
In a campaign where he has been Anfield's only ever-present, his influence has tended to be overlooked due to his EPL goal return falling 13 goals shy of last season's tally.
Should Liverpool's 29-year wait for the title finally be realised, however, it will be the quality of Salah's contributions that will be remembered far more than any goal-scoring shortfall.
A belief in the greater good, rather than self-indulgence, has been a recurring theme in the weeks preceding his former club's visit.
The former Chelsea winger has made noteworthy contributions for Juergen Klopp's side that have not always received due credit for his efforts.
His lay-off to Jordan Henderson in the build-up to Liverpool's opener against the Londoners merited an eighth assist, despite not sending in the far-post cross for Sadio Mane to convert.
The 30-metre thunderbolt he unleashed minutes later brought a more than deserved accolade.
Similarly, his magnetism for defenders has become a useful decoy for the Reds' attacks that is not always acknowledged.
Burnley's backline notoriously fell into the trap on more than a few occasions as he drew fouls for two of the hosts' goals in their 4-2 victory last month.
Yet, cynics will continue to lazily argue that Salah is a glorified one-season wonder, and that Klopp's side is ill-equipped to handle their final four games of a gruelling title run-in.
Neither could be further from the truth.
Manchester City's game in hand against Manchester United has continued to cloud minds that Anfield's latest EPL quest is already over bar the shouting. The reality is that it remains anything but.
Liverpool's peerlessness shows no signs of evaporating any time soon, not least with Salah continuing to find form at the opportune time as the focal point of their forward line.
He may not reign for much longer as the Player of the Year, but a far bigger crown may soon await the Egyptian King.
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