Tomorrow is Christmas but for many Liverpool fans, Christmas came early. Sudden twist to the Premier League season during this festive period has made the hunters become the hunted.
When the ball was crossed in by TAA in the 95th minute of the game against Everton, Liverpool was in danger of falling behind 4 points behind the leaders Manchester City. We all know how that cross brought the miracle goal by Origi and even though we all knew how huge the goal was, no one could have predicted what would be coming in the next few weeks.
Three weeks later, Liverpool is on top of the Premier League, four points ahead of Manchester City who have now lost two of their last three league games. The loss against Chelsea opened the door for Liverpool to have the top spot while the surprising home loss to Crystal Palace was the true Christmas gift every Reds fan wanted.
While we can enjoy the moment, it is very important for Liverpool to keep its focus on the rest of the festive season games. Wins against Newcastle and Arsenal at home will have Liverpool visit the Ethiad with at least a 4 point advantage. Manchester City will be visiting two teams with improving form, especially against Southampton. Even if they manage to get wins at both away games, entering the game with a four-point deficit against Liverpool will give the Reds a huge psychological as well as tactical advantage. City will have to play to win, which is something they chose to stay away from at Anfield where they played their most conservative brand of football. They know how deadly Liverpool can be on the counter as they have paid the price multiple times in the league as well as the Champions League last season.
The key to Liverpool continuing to win games is for the team not to have the same excitement as us fans. Liverpool’s key to success has been its hungry, intense style of play and even a hint of overconfidence can be damaging. Klopp has been able to use the rotation to perfection so far, keeping the team fresh especially in midfield and the hunger of the players who are getting the opportunity to play has resulted in a team that is finding ways to win against tough opponents in sometimes difficult conditions. Klopp’s new challenge will be to keep the team grounded and continue to do what brought them success so far.
It is time to enjoy Christmas and what this team has accomplished so far this season. The unbeaten streak, the clean sheets, impressive defense, and the fighting spirit throughout the field in every game…and all this with an offense that is starting to click more and more every week… Thanks, Santa!! Now we know why you wear Red!