Ekong loses pre-Afcon battle against Salah as Liverpool run riot at Watford
The two players came up against each other ahead of the big showdown in January, and it was the Egyptian that prevailed on Saturday afternoon
Mohamed Salah showed William Troost-Ekong a glimpse of what to expect from him in January after the Egyptian delivered a man of the match performance in Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Watford at Vicarage Road.
Both players will come up against each other when Egypt take on Nigeria in their opening group game of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
And on Saturday they had a pre-battle as Watford hosted Liverpool in their Premier League encounter. However, it was the Egyptian that prevailed, setting up the opening goal before scoring a brilliant individual effort as Liverpool thrashed their hosts 5-0.
Ekong played the whole match, but despite making two interceptions and the same number of tackles, he had no answers to Salah’s brilliance.
Liverpool took the lead in the ninth minute through Sadio Mane, who calmly finished past Ben Foster following a superb pass from Salah.
Roberto Firmino then doubled the Reds advantage in the 37th minute, slotting home from close range from a Mane low cross.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into the break with a comfortable lead, but they switched up the gears after the break as Firmino scored his second of the game in the 52nd minute.
Salah then got on the act by scoring Liverpool’s fourth two minutes later courtesy of a brilliant individual finish.
In what was a replica of his goal against Man City, the Egyptian showed quick feet to evade the challenge of three defenders before moving past Cathcart to send a curling effort into the back of the net.
It did not stop there as Firmino got his hat-trick with a strike in added time to seal a comprehensive victory for men from Merseyside.