Another three points and the Reds keep rolling on. Here is a quick take at the five talking points
I try to avoid this as it can possibly be a talking point every week but it definitely played a huge role in this game. Liverpool would have been down a goal instead of having a lead if it was not for VAR. Online discussions are more on VAR than the game played on the field itself.
The bottom line for me is VAR is here to stay. I do not like the excitement it takes away from the game and how it slows it down. At the end of the day though, if getting things right is what is important, it does the job. It can be an armpit, hip, toe…if it is offsides, it is offsides. I would rather deal with the cons I listed above rather than sit here now and perhaps talk about a loss due to bad referee calls.
Wolves are the real deal
They were well organized and have a lot of players who have quality on the ball. It almost felt like we were facing a mirror image of ourselves in terms of the way they defended and put pressure on us throughout the game. They were able to keep our backs pinned back in most cases by applying pressure and definitely gave us a tough time in midfield. Their rotation of the squad was spot on and made us look the more tired side at times.
Another good outing by Gomez
Gomez played a solid game and despite some misplaced passes in the build-up, showed that he could still be the future partner of VVD for years to come. It was only a few months ago when everyone was writing this kid off and panicking with the injuries to Matip and Lovren. Of course, some of those same individuals are singing his praises and naming him MOTM.
The Reds definitely miss Matip’s ability to push forward with the ball and disrupt the opponent’s defensive shape. This was a game where it was very much needed. Gomez has the speed to recover from bad positioning and played a solid game. Liverpool calling back Nathaniel Phillips could be a sign that Matip and Lovren will be out for some time and Gomez will definitely be a key player in the second half of the season
Henderson is key to midfield
The injury to Fabinho has made Henderson the most important part of that midfield and he has become the player that is relied on every game. His never-ending energy is very important in controlling the midfield and his attitude definitely sets the tone for the rest. Despite not being able to pinpoint a specific moment in the game where he made an impact on the score, he was my MOTM overall with the number of balls he won and disrupted not to mention his calm demeanor on the ball during the build-up. All his doubters and naysayers have been silent for some time now. Do they finally see what a player the captain is or just lurking around until they get a chance to bash him again? Time will tell… Sadly I think he will be the scapegoat in the first poor result we get or a game where we fail to score.
Half Way There
19 games into the season and we have a 13 point lead with a game in hand. Common sense and math will tell you that if you can build such a lead, it can be lost in the same amount of time as well. It is too early to celebrate and there is a long way to go but it seems very unlikely that Klopp and the players will let this slip away. Even though a team like City has the capability to run the table, I think it very unlikely that they will be able to. Even if they do, I think the leadership of this team will not let a poor result from slowing down the momentum the team has built over the last 18 months. This is the year and I am confident that this team has what it takes to continue this run.