There have been a vibe of pessimism around Anfield following Liverpool’s lack of transfer activity and failing to replace Philippe Coutinho with a quality recruit. All of their ‘Top Four’ rivals have strengthened themselves significantly along with league leaders Manchester City who are well-ahead in the title race.
Also, back to back defeats against strugglers Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion generated a frenzy of rage among the fans and club’s ‘negative net spending’ has been heavily criticized as the winter transfer deadline approached. Liverpool needed a reaction on the pitch when they encountered Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night as a win at Kirklees Stadium was essential in order to secure a Champions League berth – their only probabilistic season objective available following both the domestic cup exits.
The Reds, however, didn’t disappoint though as they reacted well and sealed a dominating 3-0 triumph away from home.
A few things, meanwhile, caught our attention in their win against the Terriers:
Comprehensive, But Not Convincing
The scoreline might not reflect the same, but the Reds were scrappy at times and Huddersfield’s lack of intent made it look much easier for Jurgen Klopp’s men. However, Emre Can’s long-range screamer had a slight deflection that helped his side to break the deadlock. Things could have been pretty different otherwise if it remained scoreless at half-time. The Terriers were sitting deep to invite attacks and wait for constructing counter-attacking movements. But the lack of creativity in Liverpool midfield didn’t allow them to have enough opportunities up front for the attackers.
Colossal Can, Welcome Back Henderson
Th midfield lacked imagination, but the return of skipper Jordan Henderson certainly made a positive impact. He might not have offered much up front but was energetic, kept the ball rolling and never let the opponents’ win back possession in the middle of the park. Emre Can, despite getting closer to his summer exit, delivered one stellar performance to remember. He instigated the win with a decent strike and also delivered a couple of majestic crosses inside the box. The German panzer earned a spot-kick in the second half and Mohamed Salah made no mistake to make it 3-0 for the visitors. Can certainly lacks consistency, but performances of such caliber will be missed if he keeps on delivering such mastery for his new employers ( read Juventus).
Firmino: The System
The Brazilian is not part of the system, he is indeed the system for Liverpool since Jurgen Klopp took over. He has added a new dimension to his centre-forward role where he is not only scoring goals but also covering every blade of grass and not merely waiting for opportunities to arrive inside the box. He showed his individual brilliance to score a stunner to double the lead in the first-half and ensured a win with his work-rate despite not having more opportunities to add to his tally.
This win, nevertheless, has helped them to be back to winning ways particularly prior to their Sunday clash against ‘top four’ rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.