Every championship team has some wins that are just not pretty but effective. It is a trademark of any title winning team to find a way to win games with late goals or hanging on to narrow leads. If the last two weeks are any indication, the Reds are on their way to a championship.
After the leisurely walk of a win against West Ham, Liverpool was able to get 6 points from the two games they played with the help of two more shut-outs. Neither of these games were offensive masterpieces and they were far from being impressive. What was impressive was the way Liverpool was able to hang on to the leads through solid defense and some great goal keeping, two assets they did not have early last season.
When Salah finally scored Liverpool’s lone goal in the game, it felt like the show was about to begin. The show never really started as Liverpool seemed off pace and very sloppy with their passing. Mane had perhaps one of his worst games in a Reds jersey and kept losing the ball through some extremely poor passing. Firmino almost had his first of the season but a great save kept him quiet once again. He still seems to be getting back to his form.Salah got the win with his great one time shot and the Reds were able to win without their usual offensive onslaught. Wins without the front three being the stars are very valuable wins as when those three are clicking, we are almost guaranteed a win anyhow.
Three games… three shut-outs…nine points. It is hard to find things to complain about but where there is a will, there is a way. Perhaps the biggest cause for celebration is that the team was able to close out these games and not lose points in situations where last season’s team would have found ways to lose points in. Through a better organized back line protected by a goalie that is extremely confident. Some of his over confidence could have been costly but there is no doubt that he is a better influence on the rest of the team as well.
Liverpool was not able to find ways to break down a well-organized Brighton team. Passing was poor and things looked sloppy. When your skill and class fails you, you have to rely on your grit and effort. Enter James Milner whose hard work won the ball to create the lone goal and his overall work rate coupled with Wijnaldum’s great form, won the game for Liverpool in midfield. Brighton threw everything at the Reds at the end of the game and aside from a great save by A.Becker, never really threatened to score.
Next up is another tough away fixture @Leicester City. The Champions League and League Cup draws create a tough schedule for the Reds after the international break which makes it very important to secure the three points from this game to enter the break with a perfect record. They will definitely need a better game offensively and we might see some changes in the starting eleven this weekend.
- Alisson: There is no arguing that he was money well spent. His confidence is infectious and it shows. Some of his risks were unnecessary and could have been costly in a close game like this one. There are a lot of hypocrites who praise these risks but same people were not so approving when Karius was in goal playing too much with the ball at his feet. I have to admit that I was not happy with some of the risks Becker took in goal. Did it cost us? No. I would rather voice my disapproval now than wait until it does cost us. It is all fun and games until it costs us points. I think he is great with the ball in his feet and nothing wrong with him starting play from the back with calm passing. There are times though that the risk is not worth the reward. Still great to have him and goal and we are only three weeks into the season and can already show highlights of point saving saves
- Wijanldum and Milner : I do not think anyone predicted these two to be the backbone of a dominating midfield especially after the arrival of Keita and signing of Fabinho. They have been terrific and definitely make it hard to make a case against them not starting again this weekend.
- Gomez : Love seeing him do well at his position. Brighton did what most teams will do…go at the player next to VVD. He took the challenge and played a great game. Lovren and Matip will find it hard to replace him if he continues his play