Liverpool vs Newcastle United: How did swapping boots at half-time change Mohamed Salah's fortunes?

He scored twice in the second half and was equally influential in the other goals scored by his teammates. However, it was not all easy for the player.

Mohamed Salah in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@LFC
By Karthik Raman | Jan 3, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Liverpool put on show a brilliant attacking display, as Newcastle United had no answer to the waves of attack by the home side. The final scoreline might read 4-2 in the Reds’ favour but the reality was totally different. On another day, the hosts could have won this match quite convincingly if they had been more clinical in the final third. One player who stole the show was Liverpool frontman Mohamed Salah. He scored twice in the second half and was equally influential in the other goals scored by his teammates. However, it was not all easy for the player.

Why did Mohamed Salah change his boots?

Mohamed Salah’s first-half penalty was brilliantly saved by Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. This prompted Salah to change his boots at half time, which helped the Egyptian run the show in the second half of the Premier League contest. “The other ones [boots] I missed the pen with, I just trained with yesterday. It’s not superstitious because I play with many boots. But when I feel it’s going to play with my head, OK, out, change the boots! But I don’t like to go in the second half of this game thinking, ‘I didn’t score with this.’ So I just made my mind calm and focused on the game,” he told Sky Sports.

Salah was on top of his game in the second half, as the Reds raced to a convincing win. Late on, he got a second opportunity to make up for his earlier penalty miss. This time, with his new boots, Salah made no mistake from the spot to seal the three points for Liverpool. “I’m calm. I try to do my job. I always practise. The first one I was confused because the goalkeeper was moving and he was waving and I thought, ‘OK let’s go in the middle’, but he managed to save it very well. The second one I did what I did in training and did my thing,” he elaborated.

‘It’s a great result for us’

Despite creating multiple opportunities, Liverpool did not score a single goal in the first half. This prompted the players to speak up in the dressing room, as they urged everyone to stay calm. “The players spoke in the dressing room [and said] we have to stay calm. I missed the pen. At half-time I was like, ‘Do you want to leave for the national team with that performance?’ Not really! So I had to really focus, step up and make the difference and I managed to do so,” he explained.

The forward added: “It’s a great result for us. The game was very intense and we managed to pick up three points and now we are top of the table. We need to stay calm and win every game. We believe a lot. We have such good talent, they just need to work hard, nothing else. They just need to express themselves on the field, just play their football. If we manage to do that and work hard, and I see them work hard after training in the gym, that’s what makes us a winning [team].”

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