The Selhurst challenge
A few weeks ago when City came here to play, I was hopeful of a beneficial result for us as it is always a tough place to play. Liverpool have always had a tough time against Palace at their home ground. Games have resulted in wins but have been a tough battle every time. This game was no different and the Reds managed to grind out yet another tough win
1 more week and 3 more points
Liverpool managed to keep the 8 point lead over their closest opponent with this win. There are no style points in the Premier League and the most important thing is securing the three points and leaving one less week for the others to make up ground. This team knows to win and if even if it is not pretty and we were outplayed in the first half, this team still found a way to get the result needed. Losing only 2 points in the first 13 games is no easy task and the winning mentality is this teams biggest strength at the moment.
VAR to the rescue
Having been outplayed in the first half, Liverpool gave a goal away to Tomkins that was overturned by VAR due to a foul on Lovren. While the call was soft, it was the right call. The push is a clear two-hand push and while Lovren made the most of it, it is still a foul. One could also argue that the foul that leads to that ball into the box was just as soft and Zaha made the most out of that slight push himself. This will give Liverpool haters more to talk about and how the Reds have benefited from the VAR. Not the best argument in my eyes as it only highlights how many times the Reds were wronged by bad calls in the past which are now being corrected by VAR.
International team games affect our play
Klopp always talks about how the first game after the international break is the toughest. Not only due to the lack of prep time some players get due to travel but the adjustment players have to make when playing in different formations and styles. Perhaps it is our unique game style and high-intensity tempo we play in but I feel that Liverpool gets affected by this a lot more than other teams. Playing against teams that have fewer players away on international duty makes this even more challenging so it was important for Liverpool to adjust and overcome adversity.
Ox is regaining his form
The silver lining of the poor first-half performance was watching Ox getting back to his form. He had great movement on the ball and was able to make up for the loss of Salah in many ways. One thing we do miss when Mo is not out there is the fear he puts on defenders. Combined with Bobby’s off the ball movement, we are able to create more space throughout and confuse defenses. Ox does not command as much respect from defenses like Mo but his threat of shooting from outside the box gives us another dimension. Ox becoming his old self along with players coming back from injuries such as Shaqiri and Keita will be a huge boost as we enter this time of year.