Updated:Mar 6, 2023 8:38 pm
Just as you thought this could be the end of Liverpool’s era under Jurgen Klopp, a stunning second-half display from the Reds against their fierce rivals Manchester United may just be the catalyst to save what has been a very much below-par season for the 2019-20 champions.
Heading into Sunday’s game, it was Erik Ten Hag’s side who had the upper hand, having won the Carabao Cup the previous week, but Liverpool knew that only a victory would do, to keep their hopes of Champions League football for next season alive.
And a 7-0 demolition is the perfect way to send a message to your top four rivals, who in this case are Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United.
Gakpo and Nunez: Mané’s Replica?Embed from Getty Images
Losing Sadio Mané to Bayern Munich last summer was a huge blow for Liverpool in the sense that their philosophy of being a high-pressing and energetic team was based around the Senegalese and the fact that Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, Roberto Firmino, and Coady Gakpo haven’t quite been able to fill in for him is a sign of the team rebuilding into that mean, red machine, that was dominating English football along with Manchester City.Embed from Getty Images
Because of their out-of-form forwards, it seems as if the onus is on the Egyptian to rescue the team and to single-handedly help them win matches.
This is why you can sort of see why Liverpool is in the position that they’re in, but having chased Manchester City all the way and to narrowly miss out on a quadruple, it’s amazing how quickly things can change in the space of 10 months.
Still Fragile At The Back
Whilst Sunday was a sneak peek of what Klopp’s Reds are capable of doing, they are still far from the team they were last season, and a couple of seasons before.
Alison has only 10 clean sheets from 25 games this season compared to 2021-22, where he kept 20 in 36 appearances. This means that there has been a certain vulnerability to their defence.
Part of the reason may be to do with the form of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is world-class in terms of his attacking prowess, but there are still some question marks about his defending.Embed from Getty Images
The majority of goals conceded by Liverpool have come on the right wing, because of the 24-year-old’s lack of awareness of opposition players. At times we see him come up the pitch, and then switch off when the team is out of possession, and get punished for it. This could also be one of the reasons why Gareth Southgate does not play him enough for England.
Hunting Down Spurs
The win on Sunday means that there is now a three-horse race between the Reds, Tottenham Hotspur, and Newcastle United for next season’s Champions League.
As there are 13 games left for Liverpool to play this season, you would think that they would have to win 10 or 11 of those games, to be assured of a place in next season’s Champions League. However, after seeing Spurs slip up against the Wolves on Saturday and the Magpies losing to City, producing a second-half display like that against their fierce rivals, should give them plenty of confidence.
“It was spectacular,” “Even the start of the game was super lively, super front-foot, exactly what we needed. We played top football against a team in form. United have played a super season, we’re not happy with ours, but that doesn’t mean anything for the game. We were the better side. It’s an important three points.
Klopp: Sky Sports
Up next for Liverpool is a tricky test away to Bournemouth, before trying to overturn a 5-2 deficit against Real Madrid next Wednesday.
Is this the start of a miraculous turnaround for Klopp’s Liverpool?
Send us your thoughts on World in Sport.