Manchester City and Liverpool went head-to-head in one of the standout fixtures of pre-season at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Wednesday night.
This was Jurgen Klopp’s side’s sixth match of the close-season. For Pep Guardiola’s men, however, this was just their second friendly ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.
Following a goalless first half, it was City who took the lead just before the hour-mark through Leroy Sane, who produced a neat finish past second-half substitute Caoimhin Kelleher.
However, Mo Salah - who else? - equalised in the 63rd minute, just moments after entering the fray.
This was the Egyptian’s first pre-season appearance and he made a big impact after coming off the bench.
Liverpool then won the match with virtually the final kick of the game after American referee Sorin Stoica awarded the Reds a dramatic last penalty.
Sadio Mane, who came on for Adam Lallana, stepped up and converted past Joe Hart to seal a confidence-boosting win for the Merseyside outfit.
What Hart did to Salah in the 70th minute
Football fans, however, were all talking about Hart after a rather unexpected moment in the 70th minute.
The Englishman isn’t regarded as a great goalkeeper with the ball at his feet - just as Guardiola - but he pulled off this brilliant piece of skill against Salah of all people…
No, you are not seeing things. That really is Hart nutmegging Mo Salah with a cheeky backheel.
Strange things happen in pre-season, don’t they?
Football fans were left in disbelief
Those who stayed up to watch the game - which kicked off in the early hours of the morning, UK time - immediately took to social media to express their disbelief at what they’d just witnessed.
However, Salah probably would have taken being nutmegged by Hart if it meant opening his account for pre-season.
The 26-year-old, who scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for the Reds last season before signing a new long-term contract, powered a superb header past the former England number one from a Rafael Camacho cross.
“He came in and scored after pretty much 35 seconds,” Klopp said of Salah, per Liverpool’s official website, after the match. “He had a big impact together with Sadio and Dom, and the midfield with Marko, Pedro and Ben played fantastic.
“Both full-backs were then really involved in the offensive situations, which we didn’t have too much in the first half. Both centre-halves were there. Nat Phillips on this level is surprised by himself, that’s really cool; Raggy did well; and Caoimhin had a nice save.
“So it was really a nice second half which helped us a lot because we all see it’s still there, it’s all good. We only need to keep on working and make sure that in two weeks we have fresher legs than tonight.”News Now - Sport News