(Reuters) – Striker Mohamed Salah scored his first goal in four matches to give Liverpool a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday, lifting the Merseyside club back up to second in the table.
Salah scored after 20 minutes and it remained the only goal of the game as Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp condemned his close friend and fellow German in the opposite dugout David Wagner to a sixth defeat in nine league matches this season.
The breakthrough came when Xherdan Shaqiri crafted himself some space to play a precise pass to Salah in the area. With one touch, the Egyptian found the bottom far corner for his fourth goal of the season and 50th overall in English football.
Huddersfield rallied and almost pulled it back, with a long-range effort from Jonathan Hogg hitting the post and Philip Billing’s distant freekick curling just wide. They then had a penalty appeal turned down for a handball by James Milner.
Huddersfield fans thought they had seen their team score their first home goal in six months when Alex Pritchard latched onto a high ball and dinked it past goalkeeper Alisson just before the break. However, the strike was ruled out for offside.
The hosts’ intensity slightly dropped after halftime, although Steve Mounie had a chance with less than 10 minutes left when the ball fell to him in the box. However, he shinned it over from eight yards out.
The John Smith’s Stadium faithful applauded the players after the final whistle, even though this defeat continues their winless run this season.
Wagner, who was best man at Klopp’s wedding, was still content to be interviewed by BT Sport alongside his compatriot despite the result and was staying remarkably upbeat.
“To turn the positive performances into results, it’s a wonderful challenge we face and very exciting and this is exactly how I feel individually and I hope it is possible in the future to turn this personal feeling onto the dressing room,” Wagner said.
Klopp, however, was more critical of his side that remain unbeaten this season and conceded that they were perhaps lucky to have come away with all three points.
“I’m not angry or whatever but I think we should expect from us to do better,” he said. “Most of the things which didn’t work today was because Huddersfield did well but a few things I saw Huddersfield couldn’t do anymore, we helped with an average or rubbish pass.
“Otherwise the result could’ve been different because they scored and hit the post and maybe should have had a penalty. We expect from us really good football and I would like to see that.”
Following Chelsea’s earlier draw with Manchester United, the win takes Liverpool up to second in the standings, behind leaders Manchester City on goal difference. Klopp’s side take on Cardiff City next Saturday. Huddersfield, meanwhile, remain second from bottom. They next visit Watford.
(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Tony Lawrence and Pritha Sarkar)