Mohamed Salah drew on the experience of netting a penalty in the Champions League final to hold his nerve and seal a 4-3 win for Liverpool over Leeds United in a riotous opening Premier League encounter.
Salah struck from the spot early on at Anfield on Saturday, as he did in the Reds’ 2-0 showpiece triumph over Tottenham in Madrid last year – a contest that proceeded fairly uneventfully from that point.
The opening game of their title defence cut a sharp contrast, with newly promoted Leeds playing in a fearless manner and equalising three times before Salah completed his hat-trick with a second conversion from 12 yards in the 88th minute.
Asked about how he handled that moment mentally by Sky Sports, the Egypt star replied: “I scored a penalty in a Champions League final, so that was a little bit easier! Especially with no fans.
“It was important for me to focus and score the goal to get three points.”
Jack Harrison and Mateusz Klich scored excellent goals either side of Patrick Bamford capitalising upon a dreadful error from Virgil van Dijk, who headed Liverpool’s second of a frantic clash, and Salah was full of admiration for Marcelo Bielsa’s Championship winners.
“Leeds are a tough team, they press high as well, so the game intensity was really high as well,” he said.
“They had a great game, they play away and react really well. They scored three goals against us, that’s huge
“I’m happy about the result and we have to keep on improving. It’s important for me to stay focused. We had a good game.”