Liverpool star Salah accused of being 'scared' of Man United rival
Soccer Football – Premier League – Liverpool v Manchester United – Anfield, Liverpool, Britain – January 17, 2021 Manchester United’s Luke Shaw in action with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah [Reuters, Michael Regan]

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has been accused of being scared of Man United adversary Luke Shaw during Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Anfield.

The Egyptian forward had an evening to forget as he struggled to find a way past United’s defence, with left-back Shaw putting in a solid display.

Salah was not alone in that department, as his strike partners Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane also offered little, and there was a distinct lack of cohesion between the usually telepathic trio, as has been the case in recent weeks.

But former striker-turned-pundit Chris Sutton criticised Salah of failing to even test Shaw in the goalless showdown, while also questioning Firmino’s contribution.

“United had the best chances to win. For that reason this must be chalked up as a missed opportunity against a patched-up Liverpool side — but I have to credit Jordan Henderson and Fabinho for their displays at the back,” Sutton told the Mail.

“Upfront, though, Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost their spark and that’s worrying.

Liverpool star Salah accused of being 'scared' of Man United rival
Soccer Football – Premier League – Liverpool v Manchester United – Anfield, Liverpool, Britain – January 17, 2021 Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in action with Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes [Reuters, Phil Noble]

“The previously faultless Roberto Firmino is making poor decisions, while Mo Salah was scared to take on Luke Shaw.

“Did I think United were genuine contenders at the start of the season? Of course not. Do I now? Yes.”

Liverpool’s problems in front of goal are becoming a growing concern for manager Jurgen Klopp, but credit must go to United’s back four for keeping them at bay.

Shaw in particular impressed, and ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown was in agreement with Sutton that Salah simply did not fancy the challenge.

“This was Luke Shaw’s best performance in a Manchester United shirt I’ve seen,” Keown said in his column for the Mail.

“He was the standout performer in a back four that defended incredibly well with Scott McTominay and Fred sitting in front.

“There was one moment in the second half when instead of trying to skin Shaw, Mohamed Salah turned and passed backward.

“Salah has given many a defender nightmares, but didn’t want to try his luck against Shaw in this instance.”

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