Mohamed Salah: Liverpool forward could return home from Africa Cup of Nations after suffering injury, says Jurgen Klopp | Football News

Mohamed Salah is expected to return to Liverpool as part of his rehabilitation following a muscle injury; Salah was subbed during Egypt’s draw with Ghana on Thursday; Egypt say he will miss their final group game and any potential last-16 game if they qualify

Jurgen Klopp expects Mohamed Salah to return to Liverpool for treatment on the muscle issue he sustained at the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt.

Reds top scorer Salah is set to miss his country’s next two games at the tournament in Ivory Coast after suffering the injury in Thursday’s 2-2 draw with Ghana.

Premier League leaders Liverpool initially struggled to create in the absence of their talisman during Sunday’s game at Bournemouth, but moved five points clear at the top thanks to a crushing 4-0 win earned by second-half doubles from Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota.

Martin Hardy of The Times and Jonathan Liew of The Guardian discuss Salah’s injury at AFCON and what it could mean for Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes

Klopp feels it “makes sense” for Salah to fly back to Merseyside from AFCON.

“That’s the plan,” the German said following victory at Vitality Stadium. “If that’s already decided 100 per cent, I don’t know. But that’s the plan.

“However long he’s out, probably everybody sees it like this, it makes sense that he’s doing the rehab with us or with our people. If that’s written in stone already, I don’t know.

“I spoke with him directly after, the night when it happened. Since then he’s in contact with our doctor. I think he will be back.”

Following successive draws against Mozambique and Ghana, Egypt face Cape Verde on Monday evening seeking to progress from Group B.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says it was a ‘shock’ to see Salah depart the pitch after an injury against Ghana in Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations clash on Thursday

Asked if Salah would go back to the tournament should his country reach the knockout stages, Klopp said: “I would say if Egypt qualifies for the final, if he’s fit before the final, then probably yes.

“Why not? That’s clear. It’s the tournament.

“Ivory Coast I’m sure is a wonderful country but we have no people from us there and their people have to take care of the people who are playing, so let’s see.”

Liverpool overcame a slow start on a soggy south coast afternoon to run out resounding victors against the Cherries in their first league match of the season without 14-goal forward Salah.

Nunez broke the deadlock four minutes into the second period and then completed the scoring in added time following Jota’s quick-fire brace as the Reds fully capitalised on a weekend off for second-placed Manchester City.

Salah went off injured during Egypt’s AFCON clash with Ghana in Ivory Coast

“We had the oppositive of a good start,” said Klopp. “We put ourselves under pressure.

“It’s about winning the game in the end and, as long as you stay in the game, pretty much anything that happens in the game is allowed.

“Today, step by step, we found a way in the game and won it.”

Defeat for 12th-placed Bournemouth was a second in succession in the top flight following 19 points from the previous 21 available.

Cherries boss Andoni Iraola felt his side lost tactical discipline after falling behind.

“We started doing things that we haven’t done before, going too fast, not so disciplined tactically and obviously we played worse in the second half,” said the Spaniard.

“They were really clinical today. The first goal is difficult to defend; the other goals we could do more, we could defend better, react more quickly to the second balls.”

No Salah, no problem for Liverpool

Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz:

Man City have Kevin de Bruyne back, Arsenal scored five the day before. Liverpool were set up for a tough match without Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold at in-form Bournemouth – but came through.

Doubles for Jota and Nunez made up for Salah’s absence. Assists for Conor Bradley and Joe Gomez from the right did the same for the absent Alexander-Arnold.

But, as has been said all week, Liverpool’s biggest asset is Klopp. Moving Nunez more central from the “static” left-hand side for the second half proved the trick to unlock the Bournemouth defence. Bringing on Cody Gakpo brought the second goal – and from that point it was job done.

Liverpool have also fixed their problem in defence. Ibrahima Konate was imperious at the back with Virgil van Dijk and kept the red-hot Dominic Solanke almost silent.

Manchester City were not the same when key players such as Rodri and De Bruyne were out. Arsenal do not have Liverpool’s wealth of attacking talent. There are signs, just signs for now, that Liverpool could be the title favourites.

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