Riyad Mahrez’s influence cannot be underestimated as he powered Manchester City into the Final. His impact on any attacking input from City can be compared to Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah who led the Reds to the domination of England and Europe and it seems Mahrez is on the cusp of the same.
In an absolutely sensational performance in the Champions League semi-final versus Paris Saint- Germain, the Algerian winger scored three goals over the two legs and was the most influential. Despite Mohamed Salah accounting for more goals, Mahrez has scored more impactful goals that have led Manchester City to the cusp of European glory.
Mahrez Influence Should Not Go Unseen
Riyad Mahrez More Impactful Than Salah This Season
Mahrez does not have the goal-scoring ability of Salah but when he has scored, his goals matter. His four Champions League goals have come in the latter stages of the competition Unquestionably, a big game player who shines bright in the biggest games. Secondly, to assume Mahrez is not in Salah’s level because he only has nine Premier League goals is unfair. Also, Salah has not had a Champions League performance like Mahrez did versus PSG.
Manchester City have an embarrassment of riches allowing Pep Guardiola to rotate from game to game. It should be noted that early on in the season Raheem Sterling was getting a significant amount of playing time. However, over the last few months, Mahrez has played in all the big games and Sterling has been an afterthought. In contrast, Sterling’s game has dropped momentous not scoring since Arsenal. Without a doubt, if Mahrez played regularly his goals would increase significantly.
Possibly, next season he will get to play more regularly and with Sterling’s future with Manchester City uncertain due to poor play it furthers his case. Nevertheless, if Manchester City signs a striker to replace Sergio Aguero, Mahrez’s impact will only rise. No striker Manchester City signs will ever have the impact and admiration of Aguero but a striker is necessary. Finally, Mahrez made the biggest penalty in Manchester City history at Borussia Dortmund. He and Kevin De Bruyne seem to be the designated penalty takers this season.
Salah Downspiral as Mahrez Influence Grows
Salah has 20 goals in the Premier League this season and six goals in the Champions League both more than Mahrez. Even so, in Liverpool’s biggest game of their season at Anfield versus Real Madrid, Salah did not score. Liverpool was already down 3-1 on aggregate and Liverpool could not capitalize on their opportunities in that game. Moreover, Salah has disappeared in big games for Liverpool this season. He was held scoreless versus Manchester United and Chelsea. He did score against City and Leicester City but both came in defeats. Undoubtedly, he failed to score in those games when his team was down, giving them a draw.
Don’t get me wrong, Salah is a world-class player but his recent Premier League goals involvement alongside duo Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino has dropped drastically this season leading to the current Premier League champions sit outside the Champions League positions capping off a disappointing season considering the standards Liverpool adheres to. In the end, Mahrez’s goals have led to team success while Salah’s goals have led to individual success. Team success is more important than individual success.
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