The Reds’ monstrous first-half performance saw them head in three goals to the good at the break against Manchester City, before a resolute defensive display saw the scoreline unchanged at the final whistle.
Salah started the 3-0 win with a close-range finish, before turning provider for the third which was headed in by Sadio Mane.
In between the two, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s lethal long-range effort saw the Reds take control of the tie.
And even after the defensive heroics of his team-mates in the second half, it’s Salah’s contribution to give Liverpool such a commanding lead which caught the eye of UEFA.
The Egyptian is up against Barcelona’s Gerard Pique, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich’s James Rodriguez for the award.
Those are huge individual names and the teams they represent are genuine European royalty—and should the Reds see out the second leg, that’s precisely who Salah and his team-mates are likely to rub shoulders with in the last four.
It’s an indication of how far the team has come under Jurgen Klopp, and a reminder of years gone by that the name of Liverpool doesn’t look the slightest bit out of place alongside such rivals.
Salah himself, meanwhile, left the pitch early in the second half due to a potential groin strain, and Klopp will be hoping for positive news…