Anfield’s charming attack began before the ball was even kicked.
And after working full-time for Mohamed Salah, it was clear that whatever the millions in Saudi Arabia could not match the love with which he was held among Liverpool fans.
After what seemed an eternity of flirting with the possibility, Al-Ittihad finally received a £150million bid for Salah as Friday’s transfer deadline approached.
Since interest emerged, Liverpool have insisted Salah will not be sold this summer, with the offer promptly rejected.
The Egyptian himself has remained silent on the Saudi Pro League proposal, despite his agent Rami Abbas Issa saying in early August that the Egyptian was not going to jump ship.
However, on a sweltering afternoon against Aston Villa, Liverpool supporters were keen to make their feelings known, cheering Salah’s name at the loudest of voices as the line-up was read out to thunderous applause.
At the start of the match, after the Egyptian was brought on for Lucas Digne, the player performed an impromptu Salah chant and was quickly joined by the rest of the Anfield fans.
Salah has responded to such support as he always does – combining hard-work, non-stop performances with a number of decisive contributions.
Less than three minutes later, Salah and Darwin Nunes pressed hard for a corner and Dominik Sobosli was the first to open the scoring.
It was the Egyptian’s low pass after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant pass that hit the post and Villa’s Matty Cash saved him for the second.
Nunez responded to Andy Robertson’s second-half corner, allowing Salah to tap in at the far post to seal the win and turn Liverpool’s excellent start to the season into a stunning victory, a step up from the previous one.
Scored 10 points in the game.
Four difficult inventory for different reasons.
After the final whistle, Salah shook hands with team-mates, referees and Villa players before heading down the tunnel.
The absence of a grand farewell gesture to the home fans suggests this will not be his last appearance at the club.
With the Saudi Arabian transfer window only closing on Thursday, Liverpool will surely be ready for an increased bid for the Al-Ittihad. The coming days will be filled with reports aimed at testing the Reds’ resolve.
Whether it’s £200m, £250m or more, Salah, like all players, has value at the end of the day. But how much do Liverpool fans love the striker? He is priceless.