Liverpool’s attempt to pull off one of the greatest escapes in recent European football history suffered a huge blow Monday after the club confirmed star striker Mohamed Salah will miss the Champions League semifinal second leg against Barcelona.
Liverpool, beaten 3-0 in the first leg in Spain last week, had hoped Salah would have recovered after sustaining a head injury during Saturday’s Premier League victory at Newcastle.
“It’s concussion so he wouldn’t be allowed to play,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told reporters Monday. “We cannot do it.”
“He feels OK, but it is not good enough from a medical point of view. That’s all. He’s desperate.”
Salah, who scored his side’s second goal in the 3-2 win over Newcastle, left the field of play on a stretcher after colliding with opposing goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
Klopp had hoped the Egyptian, who has netted 26 times for the club so far this season, would be available for selection with fellow forward Roberto Firmino also missing the tie through injury.
If the task facing Liverpool wasn’t already nigh on impossible, injuries to both Salah and Firmino leaves it severely depleted in attack.
But Klopp, whose side wasted a number of opportunities to score in the first leg, is remaining positive.
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“As long as we have 11 players on the pitch we will try for 90 minutes to celebrate the Champions League campaign to give it a proper finish.
“That’s the plan. If we can do it wonderful. If we can’t do it, let’s fail in the most beautiful way.”
Liverpool will now hope Salah will be fit in time for Sunday’s crucial Premier League game with Wolves at Anfield.