Is Mohamed Salah the best player in the world? Jamie Carragher has no doubt after the Liverpool forward's stupendous goal at Watford drew immediate comparisons with Lionel Messi.
Former England striker Gary Lineker compared the wonder strike to a Lionel Messi special after the Egyptian put Jurgen Klopp's Reds 4-0 up at Vicarage Road, on the way to a 5-0 win.
Salah received the ball on the edge of the Watford penalty area and was surrounded by home defenders, but he showed supreme close control to weave a path beyond Craig Cathcart, Juan Hernandez and Juraj Kucka before whipping a clinical finish into the far corner.
It was a goal that had the hallmarks of a Messi or Diego Maradona masterpiece, with Salah's astonishing footwork leaving the defenders powerless to stop him extending Liverpool's lead.
"My, my. Mo has morphed into Messi," Lineker wrote on Twitter.
The goal means Salah has now scored in each of his past eight games for Liverpool; the longest run of scoring in consecutive appearances for the club since Daniel Sturridge in February 2014, also a run of eight matches.
Carragher's instant verdict was: "Best player in the world right now."
The former Liverpool defender's excitement was matched by all-time Reds top scorer Ian Rush, who used an Arabic term of approval to describe Salah's goal.
"Mashallah @MoSalah The best!" Rush tweeted.
7 - Liverpool are the first ever English top-flight side to score 3+ goals in seven consecutive away games in all competitions. Swarm.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 16, 2021
Alan Shearer, the Premier League's record scorer, described the goal as "brilliant", and Liverpool's own Twitter match commentary enthused about the Salah strike.
It came two weeks after his majestic goal against Manchester City, with Salah said by some on social media to be putting together his own goal of the season competition.
The effort was his reward for persistence, with Salah's strike his fifth attempt of the game. It was also his ninth goal in seven games in the Premier League against Watford.
The flow of goals from Liverpool amounted to dismal news for Watford's new boss, Claudio Ranieri. Roberto Firmino grabbed a hat-trick and Sadio Mane also scored, netting in the Premier League for the 100th time.
Liverpool tweeted: "Words escape us, but we'll try... Salah shows incredible quick feet to escape the attention of three Watford defenders inside the box, before turning Cathcart and sending a curling effort into the far corner."