Manchester City’s Champions League conquerors moved ever closer to sealing their place in the competition next season as Liverpool cruised past Bournemouth with Salah again taking centre stage.
“What a number. Wow!” exclaimed manager Jurgen Klopp on hearing Salah is the first Liverpool player since Ian Rush 31 years ago to score 40 in a season.
“Mo knows what this means and the way we play suits him,” added Klopp. “For him, for the boys, it’s fantastic and today he certainly didn’t look like he doesn’t want to score in the next few games.”
All of Liverpool’s prolific front three were on target as Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino struck either side of Salah’s deft header to take their combined tally for the season to 82.
Chelsea kept their faint hopes of Champions League football next season alive by closing to within seven points of Spurs with a stunning eight-minute fightback to deepen Southampton’s predicament in the bottom three.
Saints led 2-0 with 20 minutes remaining through Dusan Tadic and debutant Jan Bednarek.
However, Olivier Giroud came off the bench to finally kickstart his Chelsea career with his first two Premier League goals for the club either side of Eden Hazard’s leveller.
“As long as it is mathematically possible we will believe we can reach the top four,” said Giroud. “We have got five finals to play, after that we will see.”
Crystal Palace had been set to drop into the bottom three on goal difference prior to Chelsea’s comeback.
However, they now enjoy a six-point cushion over Southampton thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win over Brighton at Selhurst Park with Wilfried Zaha scoring twice.
Huddersfield look well set for a stay up as Tom Ince netted in stoppage time beat Watford 1-0 and open up a seven-point lead on the bottom three.
Swansea couldn’t make home advantage count against Everton, but also opened up a five-point lead on Southampton just above the relegation zone with a 1-1 draw.
At the other end of the table, Burnley closed to within two points of sixth-placed Arsenal as a fast start was enough to secure a 2-1 win over Leicester.