MX23RW : Friday, January 18 08:21:43

How did Salah and Aubameyang compare at Anfield?

How did Salah and Aubameyang compare at Anfield?
© Reuters
On-song duo in the spotlight in Premier League clash.

Mohamed Salah has once again been a leading light for Liverpool while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is similarly important to Arsenal's cause this season.

The pair had scored 15 times apiece in all competitions before the Reds welcomed Unai Emery's side to Anfield at teatime on Saturday.

Here Press Association Sport assesses the performances of both individuals as Liverpool extended their lead atop the Premier League to nine points with a 5-1 win.

Link-up play

Liverpool v Arsenal – Premier League – Anfield
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah proved tough for the visitors to handle (Peter Byrne/PA)

Both players lined up as the central point in their respective side's attacks, a position that suits Aubameyang more readily than Salah. But while Aubameyang became increasingly isolated as Arsenal found themselves under siege, Salah overcame a quiet start and exquisitely put the ball into the path of Sadio Mane to tap into an empty net for Liverpool's third. A useful outlet thereafter, Salah bamboozled Arsenal's defence on a couple of occasions and his understanding with Mane and the excellent Roberto Firmino contributed to an impressive win.

Work rate

Southampton v Arsenal – Premier League – St Mary's Stadium
Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cut a frustrated figure at Anfield (Adam Davy/PA)

Salah was a willing runner throughout, particularly down the right flank, and it was from that area that he burst forward and was awarded a penalty after going down from Sokratis Papastathopoulos' clumsy challenge. Contrast that with Aubameyang, who had only seven touches in the first half, during which time he cut a frustrated figure leisurely jogging round Liverpool's half. He was almost reduced to a watching brief in the second half before being ignominiously withdrawn after 71 minutes.

Goal threat

Liverpool v Arsenal – Premier League – Anfield
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah was clinical from the penalty spot (Peter Byrne/PA)

Salah almost opened the scoring with a clever backheel from Roberto Firmino's mishit but he made no mistake with his spot-kick, sending Bernd Leno the wrong way on the stroke of half-time. The Egyptian should have done better when played through by Xherdan Shaqiri at the beginning of the second half but a poor first touch led to Leno gratefully collecting. Aubameyang was largely reduced to feeding on scraps and his blushes were spared by the offside flag when he skied over from a yard out with the goal gaping at the start of the second half.

Overall

Liverpool v Arsenal – Premier League – Anfield
It was a satisfying day for Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino (Peter Byrne/PA)

The plaudits will rightly go to Firmino after a sensational hat-trick, which included a potential goal of the season candidate. Salah, who selflessly allowed the Brazilian to complete his treble from the penalty spot for Liverpool's fifth, played an influential role with a goal and an assist. It was a dispiriting day for Aubameyang, who had scored three times in his last two matches but was largely starved of service and was a peripheral figure on Merseyside.

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Xherdan Shaqiri gets his second and the home side's third during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Manchester United on December 16, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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