Mohamed Salah's Liverpool hot streak propels him towards Premier League scoring records
The Egyptian is closing in on the record for most Premier League goals in a season
When it comes to Premier League records, you'd expect Manchester City to be featuring heavily this season as they march towards the title with goals flying in from all angles.
But it is further down the table where the records are being shattered at the moment, as Mohamed Salah's goal spree for third-placed Liverpool has propelled him past a number of previous statistical achievements, and the Egyptian sharp-shooter is on the cusp of more.
His late winner in Liverpool's 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace yesterday was his 29th league strike of the season, keeping him well clear of second-placed Harry Kane on 24 goals, and beyond that City's Sergio Aguero on 21. With Kane seeking a return to full fitness after injury, the golden boot is almost guaranteed to be heading to Merseyside this summer for the first time since the 2013-14 season when Luis Suarez netted 31 times.
As it stands, Suarez's haul is a record for a 38-game Premier League season, held jointly with Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (2007/08) and Blackburn Rovers' Alan Shearer (1995/96).
The Premier League started as a 42-game season in 1992/93, and brought 34-goal hauls for Newcastle's Andrew Cole in 1993/94 and Shearer again at Blackburn in 1994/95 before the division was trimmed down to 20 teams from the 1995/96 season.
Liverpool have six league matches left to play and Salah is on course to eclipse both the 42-game and 38-game season records having so far averaged a goal every 86 minutes.
With Bournemouth, bottom-of-the-table West Brom, Stoke and Brighton among the remaining fixtures, Salah should have plenty of opportunities to add to his tally, although as his manager Jurgen Klopp said after yesterday's victory, the 25-year-old is scoring come rain or shine.
“He’s a proper striker. If you only score on a perfect day, you cannot score 29 goals. He’s outstanding, and just having him on the pitch makes things better," Klopp said.
A look beyond just his league stats this season reveal he has netted 37 goals in all competitions, which is a record for a Liverpool player in the Premier League era, beating Robbie Fowler's 36 in 1995/96.
It is also the most goals in a debut season for a Liverpool player in the Premier League period, eclipsing Fernando Torres' 33 goals during the 2007/08 campaign.
And it doesn't end there.
Didier Drogba's record for most goals in a Premier League season by an African player came in Chelsea's 2009/10 title winning year when the Ivory Coast striker netted 29, so Salah has now equalled that.
Another record comes in the form of most games scored in during a Premier League season. Salah has done so 21 times, putting him level with Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08 and Robin van Persie in 2012/13.
However, there is one record which he may be just beyond his reach - most goals and assists combined in a Premier League sason, in which he stands seventh with a total of 38 (29 goals, 9 assists). Thierry Henry is top of this one, notching 44 (24 goals, 20 assists) for Arsenal in 2002/03.
Salah's performances this season have led to comparisons with Barcelona's Lionel Messi, both being short in stature, left footed, able to work efficiently in tight spaces, and above all else, prolific.
When it comes to goals, Salah still has some way to go to reach Messi's level of goalscoring achievements, with the Argentine having netted more than 40 La Liga goals in a season on three occasions, and a mammoth 73 in all competitions in 2001/12.
"I think Mo is on the way [to being mentioned in the same sentence as Messi]," said Klopp after Salah scored four times against Watford last month.
"I don't think Mo or anybody else wants to be compared with Lionel Messi - he is the one who has been doing what he's been doing for what feels like 20 years or so. The last player I know who had the same influence on a team performance was Diego Maradona."
Updated: April 2, 2018 07:12 AM