Liverpool’s many problems so far this season have been pretty clear for all to see from their injuries to defensive issues that Jurgen Klopp seemingly hasn’t been able to fix. A few members of the Reds’ loyal fanbase have suggested this could set them back years, whereas others feel as if they can begin to move forward now that players are returning from injury. Alas, based on the odds on them to finish the season strongly through the betting page, it feels like most fall into the latter of the two categories.
Last night’s game against Arsenal was always likely to give us a much clearer picture of what we can expect between now and the rest of the season – or, at least, that’s what the Anfield faithful hope. The first half was tricky and it felt as if the game could swing either way, but the Gunners were the ones who seemed to crumble under the weight of their own expectations. They were tipped to cause Liverpool some problems but instead, Klopp’s side flourished under the idea that they didn’t have many believing they were still an elite-level side.
Three second half goals soon put those fears to rest as they put Arsenal to the sword and closed the gap on Chelsea in fourth place pretty significantly. The likes of Fabinho, Thiago and Diogo Jota are all really starting to put their best foot forward, which isn’t something that we’d seen in the midst of their injury horrors.
Arsenal were poor, yes, but Liverpool can only beat what’s put out in front of them and that’s something they haven’t actually been doing lately. We’re of the opinion that Liverpool have had structural problems for a while and even though they couldn’t have imagined what would come from the last few months, we also think Klopp’s head probably wasn’t in the right place.
Now it is, and now, they can begin to get back to the team we’ve all known them to be.
That won’t exactly be music to the ears of their rivals but for the competitiveness of the Premier League it’s hard to be upset by it. We all want to see the strongest teams battling it out for the right to be called the very best and Liverpool being at their absolute pinnacle of excellence is precisely what needs to happen in order for that to happen.
Can they keep it up? That’s the big question and the next two games will give us some serious answers.
They’ve got a trip to take during the week as they prepare to meet Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League which, in itself, is always a daunting prospect – although some actually think they’re the favourites.
Then, next weekend, they’ll be meeting Aston Villa and hosting them at Anfield – a stadium that hasn’t provided them with many good memories this season.
Let’s also not forget that in the reverse fixture, Villa put seven past them, and that was even before Virgil van Dijk got injured.
Their revival mission was off to a good start but as we all know, consistency is key in this game.