Man City defender Nathan Ake has spoken about the challenges of facing Mohamed Salah after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at the Etihad.
Ake was tasked with stopping one of the Premier League’s best, and for large parts, he did very well against the Liverpool forward – Steve McManaman was critical of goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
It’s not just with the ball that Mohamed Salah is a thorn in the flesh of Nathan Ake, but without it also.
The Dutchman stated: ‘you have to know he is ready to counter’ so it is always a ‘difficult task’, he told Premier League Productions.
Whilst Liverpool’s star man on the right didn’t get on the scoresheet, he did manage to provide an assist for Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pin-point finish – the England star praised Liverpool’s unsung hero, Cody Gakpo.
That was Mohamed Salah’s 15th goal involvement from 13 Premier League matches this season and he got rave reviews from his opposite number.
“It’s tough, it’s always tough,” said Ake. “We have had some great battles over the years and it’s always a good challenge, today was no different.
“It’s difficult because, especially we have the ball, he tried to get on the ball. He tried to get on the ball and play.
“But, at the back of your mind, you have to know that he is ready to counter. When we lose the ball, he is straight away on the run. It’s so difficult. You have to be concentrated for 90 minutes.
“Then when he gets the ball and runs at you with pace, it’s difficult because he can change direction so quickly. It’s a difficult task.
“It could be argued that he is probably the Premier League’s best. Full stop.
“Nearly every game, he seems to be involved in something and he isn’t showing any signs of stopping.
“At the age of 31, you would expect the Egypt star to be perhaps heading towards the other direction of his career, but it has been far from it because he is still improving.”