Mohamed Salah was handed his first start for Chelsea FC yesterday against Stoke City and he rewarded his manager with a fine performance worthy of the man of the match award. Jose Mourinho had claimed after Mohamed Salah was signed that he would make his real impact for Chelsea next season once he had become acclimated to the team and the rigors of the Premier League but the young Egyptian has decided that time would come a bit sooner. His goal against Arsenal was a sign of things to come as his smart run and finish was reminiscent of the goals he scored for Basel against Chelsea.
With Eden Hazard and Oscar starting the match on the bench, Mohamed Salah was tasked with leading the midfield line. He did so just fine and scored the opener against Stoke City goal and did well to ease Chelsea nerves after they fluffed several chances to take the lead. His first time shot from the top of the box courtesy of a Nemanja Matic cross was well hit and easily beat Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic. Salah celebrated with his teammates and thanked his manager with a cheeky wink and thumbs up toward the sideline. It was his second goal in Chelsea colors and his first as a starter.
The second moment came in the 60th minute as he played a neat one two in the box with Eden Hazard. Salah made a driving run behind Hazard and was cynically taken down by Andy Wilkinson when he was much more likely to cross than have a shot at goal. The penalty was given and Frank Lampard smashed home the rebound from his own miss and the match was done and dusted with half an hour to go.
It was Willian that won the official man of the match but Mohamed Salah would have been an easy choice for many. His pace and directness is paired with a fine finishing ability and a confidence that comes from being young and full of promise. Salah may not make his full impact at Chelsea FC until next year when he has a full offseason and the ability to play in Europe but he is already making a name for himself among the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Follow us on Twitter at @PrideOLondon
Like us on Facebook at The Pride of London