Mohamed Salah took the lead in the race for the European Golden Shoe on Saturday as he scored his 30th Premier League goal of the season in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth.
Lionel Messi remains on 29 goals as he failed to get on the scoresheet in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Valencia, while Robert Lewandowski picked up his 27th Bundesliga goal in Bayern Munich’s 5-1 thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach.
Here are the standings:
1. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool: 30 goals x 2.0 difficulty factor = 60.0 points
2. Lionel Messi, Barcelona: 29 x 2.0 = 58.0
T3. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich: 27 x 2.0 = 54.0
T3. Ciro Immobile, Lazio: 27 x 2.0 = 54.0
T5. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur: 25 x 2.0 = 50.0
T5. Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain: 25 x 2.0 = 50.0
7. Jonas, Benfica: 33 x 1.5 = 49.5
8. Mauro Icardi, Inter Milan: 24 x 2.0 = 48.0
T9. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid: 23 x 2.0 = 46.0
T9. Luis Suarez, Barcelona: 23 x 2.0 = 46.0
Rules: Every league in Europe has been given a difficulty rating between one and two by UEFA, which is multiplied by a player’s goal tally to calculate their points total.
For example, goals scored in any of Europe’s top five leagues are worth two points, whereas a goal in Portugal’s Primeira Liga will only count for 1.5 points.
Salah achieved two landmarks with his goal against Bournemouth on Saturday, which was his 30th league goal and his 40th in all competitions.
The Egyptian headed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pass over Asmir Begovic in the 69th minute to solidify Liverpool’s lead in the match, and the Guardian’s Sachin Nakrani enjoyed the moment:
Salah could provide a highlights reel all on his own this season, which speaks volumes given the Reds have scored 121 goals in all competitions.
Indeed, he has been a force to be reckoned with following his arrival from Roma last summer:
The 25-year-old has a little breathing room at the top of the standings, but Messi is just one behind, and the likes of Lewandowski can’t be discounted either.
The Poland international was brought on for the final 20 minutes against Gladbach with his side already in command of the game, prompting an exasperated response from their opponent’s official Twitter account:
Sure enough, the striker duly added to his tally when he controlled Joshua Kimmich’s ball towards the back post and tucked in.
Edinson Cavani took his tally to 25 in Ligue 1 as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed last season’s champions Monaco 7-1 to lift the French title.
The Uruguayan had failed to hit the target from the edge of the six-yard box after nine minutes, but he quickly made amends, per Goal:
While he was unable to keep pace with Salah on this occasion, Messi remains the Liverpool forward’s biggest rival for the award.
Not only is he the closest to him in terms of points, he’ll also have more opportunities in the coming weeks to increase his numbers.
Barcelona have six matches remaining in La Liga compared with Liverpool’s four in the Premier League, and unlike the Reds, they don’t have the distraction of UEFA Champions League football, so it’s all set to go down to the wire.