5 Talking points from Liverpool vs Everton

Is that the fat lady singing? Nope…

I consider myself to be a pessimist when it comes to sports and usually think of worst case scenarios…
If I am able to still see hope when we are behind a single point, I do not see how others cannot.

You may be disappointed in the results… the performance..finishing etc.
You can criticize Klopp for the substitutions or question the lineup etc.
You can complain about individual performances

None of these make you a plastic fan or a bad one.

Giving up on a team with almost a quarter of the season still ahead of us and bashing them with your negativity like they have been worthless does, however. Questioning summer signings now does especially if you did not say anything when we were up 7 points. I find it disappointing to see some fans almost happy to be saying ” I told you so”. Now that makes you a bad fan and I blame that negative attitude for some of the recent performances. Some players were clearly showing the effect of the nerves today which resulted in a lack of quality in passing and finishing throughout.

9 games to go and a point behind. This was not the last game of the season. Winning a title is not supposed to be easy especially when the Reds are concerned.

Henderson said it best after the game

“There’s still a long way to go. You’ve got to stay confident, stay positive – we’re still in the hunt and we’ll just concentrate on what we need to do.”

Let’s hope the fans do the same and not throw in the towel with nine games to go…

VVD is the best in his position

Among the many disappointments was the opportunity to marvel at VVD’s dominance and the satisfaction of knowing that the Reds will have one of the top CBs in that position for years to come.

Another clean sheet

I know it feels hollow but after having concerns about this back line about a month ago, it is relief to see them shut out teams consistently again. Matip has been good since he partnered with VVD and his forward strides caused several headaches for Everton. This defense will get the true test when we go to Munich as a clean sheet there will be crucial in giving the Reds the chance to advance. 

Nerves are showing

There were a lot of misplaced passes, poor touches and horrendous finishing throughout the game for the Reds. It was more than just a poorly played game though. To me, it was the nerves showing and the pressure of having to win was too much for the team on the field. Perhaps City playing on Saturday was a true advantage this weekend. It always looked like it on paper. If they were not able to get the lone goal to get the three points, it would have been a huge boost for Liverpool but City got the result they needed and shifted the pressure back to the Reds. Unfortunately, it showed throughout the game where there were several uncharacteristic errors.

Salah could have had an easy hattrick today but could not finish. After the promising performance against Watford, Origi was not effective and Mane was not able to find the spaces against Everton defense. Was Firminio able to come in earlier or start? He made an immediate impact in the game and the front three is clearly far better with him pulling the strings. Still.. chances were there and the nerves got in the way

Did Klopp settle for a point?

The substitution of Llana is probably the most talked about and the one that baffled the most. As fans were debating over if it should be Keita or Shaq, Llana got ready to be substituted in with Mane coming out.

I think it signaled that there was still too many games left in the season to go all out as far as Klopp was concerned. If this game was 2 weeks to go until the end of the season, Klopp keeps Mane in and takes out Hendo or Fabinho for Keita. An unbalanced midfield could have given Everton a chance to get the winner they had been craving for weeks, months, years. A loss today would drop the Reds 2 points behind City and with the goal differential clearly in their favor, it would almost make it a 2 game advantage for City.

Even though I would not say that Klopp was settling for the point, it was clear that he was not ready to push all his chips in for the three points. To a certain extent, I agree. Llana did not necessarily do poorly and did not even have enough time to get a rating in my book but it is the expectations of fans to see another face was the cause of the disappointment.