Never Give Up!!
As I was watching the end of the Cardiff vs Chelsea (can VAR get here now???!!! btw) , the commentators brought up the point that Liverpool was the top scoring team in the league within the last 15 minutes of the game. There are tactical reasons for this as we have a squad who thrives on counter attacking football. The other main reason is the team’s will and determination. Playing until the last second with full effort.
Kudos to the fans who made Anfield so loud. They never gave up on the team even with the score tied and that energy kept pushing the team further. Gotta love that Kop End… how many wonder goals have we seen there!!!
Mo still needs a goal- as this was only half a goal
Mo is still struggling and almost pressing for that goal. Having him involved in this goal is great though even if the final goal does not add to his tally. His effort and impact on the game cannot be argued but he just needs that goal to bring back the old Mo.
This was one of the talking points last week as well. The two on one he had with Mane would have been a easy goal last year as more than likely, Mo is rolling that one in front of Mane. This year, we keep seeing a version of Mo Salah trying desperately to get that goal causing him to force things.
As long as he continues to contribute, there is no need for concern as it is a matter of time. He just needs a simple tap in or one of these shots to go in to regain his confidence. Would definitely be a great time to get it back with several important games still coming up in the next few months.
Still searching for the midfield trio
With depth comes the second guessing of fans. A year ago, the midfield lineup was a given as there were not a lot of options. Addition of Keita and Fabinho along with the resurgence of Lallana brings different possibilities on how we can lineup in midfield. This will become even more complicated with the return of Ox, whenever that may be.
Klopp’s choices will always be second guessed especially when the results are not overwhelmingly in his favor. The attack minded FIFA 19 fans will always want Keita and Shaqiri in the lineup, the Hendo hater club is always happy as long as he is not in there, and most fans just demand more creativity from midfield and contribution to scoring via assists or goals.
It is apparent that Klopp still has the most trust in the midfield trio of Hendo, Milner, and Gini. Whether it is positional discipline or of understanding of controlling the game, this three is relied on time and time again in important games.
The 1-0 lull is dangerous
The 1-0 lead that we gain seems to slow us down. If we are not able to capitalize immediately by adding the second, our focus on controlling the game almost prevents us from extending the lead at times. This is a strategic change from the past which has resulted us in conceding less goals compared to last year but it also creates stressful moments where we give up the lead and try to switch the gear back to attacking more.
Against Fulham and Tottenham, it was the same scenario. To the credit if Klopp and the team as a whole, we were able to switch the gear back which is very hard to do mid-game.
It is a risky proposition to keep going at the opposition when you have the lead but I still feel like we slow down too much once we take the lead. The poor passing we had coming out of defense today really hurt our counter attacking game which built even more pressure by giving the ball back to the Spurs.
Three points from the toughest game
At the end of the day, this was a huge three points regardless of the perforamnce.
I kept saying this on the podcast and in other conversations that this was by far our toughest matchup for the rest of the season. It also is a huge game that City will still have to face along with the Manchester derby. City will also have to face this team twice in the Champions League which is very taxing physically as Tottenham has a quality roster that plays hard.
Games City will have after the Spurs games in the Champions League will always be a tough test for them as well. With 6 games to go for Liverpool and 7 for City, the title race is very much alive and the remaining schedule definitely looks better for the Reds overall. Make no mistake as there are no easy games in the Premier League but looking at the teams City will face and the challenges they have ahead of them definitely gives hope that they will likely have one or two hickups along the way.
Here is to hoping they lose those points sooner than later and Liverpool reach the title it craves and deserves.