Michael Owen has Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane concern for Liverpool after Chelsea loss

Liverpool: Klopp explains Salah substitution

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Michael Owen has revealed his concern that Sadio Mane’s desire to score more goals than Mohamed Salah is negatively impacting Liverpool’s performances. Jurgen Klopp’s side lost their fifth successive home match on Thursday against Chelsea.

The Reds barely threatened Edouard Mendy’s goal during the Premier League match, with their first shot on target not coming until the 85th minute.

Their front three of Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino have struggled in recent games, with none of them having a shot on target against the Blues.

That has seen their goal drought extend to three top-flight matches, with Mane last scoring in January.

Liverpool have now failed to score against Newcastle, Southampton, Manchester United, Burnley, Brighton, Everton and Chelsea, as their title defence has faltered.

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Salah was even substituted in Thursday’s match, though he is currently the top scorer in the Premier League.

Mane arguably had a golden chance to create a goal against Chelsea when he was clipped by Andreas Christensen inside the box within the opening 10 minutes.

But instead of going down and shouting for a penalty, Mane stayed on his feet and made an unsuccessful attempt to keep control of the ball.

After viewing the incident, Liverpool legend Owen revealed his concern that Mane does not want Salah to score.

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“I couldn’t believe he didn’t go down there and look, I’m not advocating he does,” Owen told Optus Sport.

“It was a great touch and he possibly thought he might get a chance at the end of it … but he did something similar a week ago (against Sheffield United).

“I just wonder, and it might be a little bit of devious thoughts creeping into my head, Mo Salah is the penalty taker in this team, and if he (Mane) thinks he’s getting a chance to score he thinks ‘well I’m going to score, if I don’t stay on my feet, Mo Salah’s going to get another penalty’.”

Owen also revealed that he believes the two players’ competitiveness is beginning to hinder Liverpool’s attacking output.

“These players have been going for the golden boot for the past couple of seasons,” Owen said.

“It might be a wild sort of theory, but the competitive nature of him and Mo Salah…we’ve seen them not passing to each other when one of them is in a much better position to the other.

“We’re seeing a little bit of selfishness, we’re seeing a little bit of disgruntled behaviour – Mo Salah shaking his head (when he was subbed off).

“I just think a couple of times there, I’ve seen Mane go down for those kind of opportunities…and (to not do it) two games on the spin? It just made me think a little bit.”

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