The goal was especially a relief for Salah, who hadn’t scored in nine matches. Salah collected the ball 10 metres inside his own half on a counterattack, sprinted forward and sent a dipping shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
“After nine games [without scoring], I’m very happy to score a goal to help the team,” the Egypt international told Sky Sports. “That’s the most important thing for us.”
Liverpool player ratings: Salah to the rescue in 8/10 showing
Roberto Firmino had appeared as an option on Salah’s left on the play, but when asked if he ever pondered squaring the ball to his Brazilian teammate, Salah replied: “Not at all!
“I think as a striker you need to score. Always, I’m thinking to score.
“I just took my decision to shoot the ball and score. I’m happy about it.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp agreed with Salah’s decision to keep the ball while lauding the “Egyptian King” for reaching the 50-goal milestone.
“Mo Salah could not pass for his goal,” Klopp said in a post-match news conference. “Go, go, go, and a world-class finish.”
Salah is the eighth Liverpool player to score 50 Premier League goals, but his half century arrived in only 69 games, three fewer than Fernando Torres, the previous quickest to the mark.
With 18 league goals, Salah is one behind Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero in his bid to retain the Golden Boot for top scorer in the league.
“As a striker, you have chances and each striker is a human being — maybe you have better moments and less good moments,” Klopp said of Salah. “But he is pretty consistent, his physical things are always there. He always stayed calm to deal with the situation.”
Liverpool looked shaky at times, especially in the first half after Southampton took the lead through Shane Long’s ninth-minute goal.
Klopp’s team recovered to draw level in the 36th through Keita’s first goal for the club, from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right-wing cross, since his offseason move from RB Leipzig.
“The performance was not top level, but it is about fighting,” Klopp said. “People want us to play like Manchester City. We are unable to do that. We play our own football.
“We have 82 points now. That is massive in this crazy league and everyone is waiting for us. I am really proud. It is incredible.”
Henderson proved to be a calming influence for Liverpool after coming on for Georginio Wijnaldum in the 59th minute. The captain had an end product, too, gliding into the area to meet Firmino’s cross with a firm finish from close range.
“It was very big. Every game is massive. We’ve got to win every game. I thought we showed great character in the first half,” Henderson told Sky Sports. “It was a big performance in the second half and a big result.”
Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this report.