After the first half, I wanted to use that ol’ quip about the best two teams in Liverpool, because Southhampton played nose-to-nose with the Reds, and the number of players that have come from the Saints to merseyside practically makes the former an outsourced Liverpool academy of sorts. In reality, though, the Liverpool machine did what it does almost every game in this unusual, record-breaking season. It spends the first half absorbing the opponent, analyzing everything they do, assessing and computing the best way to disrupt them.
Then, in the second half, it…
Klopp doesn’t allow TV in the locker room at the break, and a small, sci-fi-loving nerd part of me wonders if it’s because the truth is that the players, instead of listening to another boring half-time talk, open up a secret port in the back of their skull and download complex, exacting second-half instructions that tell them things like precisely which angles to use for each pass and which 6-inch square in the opposition goal to aim for, getting reprogrammed for the important part of the game. Then we get to sit back and watch them play, and in my head there are little diagrams being drawn in real time on the pitch, and the entire squad follows them programmatically, like a hivemind. Speaking of which, is a double back-heel goal something new? I don’t recall seeing one before, and the finish from Ox was diagram-worthy as well.
I mean, surely Klopp is a phenomenal and inspirational manager, but seriously folks, how do they do this every single time?
A certain Egyptian definitely has his Mo-jo back, and Hendo deservedly gets on the scoresheet, while delivering another beastly performance in which he owns everything and everyone in the middle, and still finds time and has the composure to be better than De Bruyne in attack. It’s getting boring to some degree, but I can’t help but award him another man of the match designation. At one point, Van Dijk showed us that he can also be a 15-year old ballerina, and I can’t wait to see the memes on that one. Southhampton were hard done by a 100% back pass in the box from Robbo in the first half, but nobody will care.
In what is becoming a rather familiar refrain, Liverpool could easily have scored double the number they did in the end, but no one will care about that either. Danny Ings played his socks off, and the crowd cheered him on; for so many, he will always remain a Red, and I am glad that he is doing so well for the academy team, excuse me, the Saints. Djenepo also played extremely well, and really, Southhampton did nicely and could have won this game if they played it against a team made of actual humans.
But not against the cyborg.
Assimilation – complete.