The worst performance of the league season so far for Liverpool, without a doubt. We were dreadful. Manchester United, despite their resilient defending, were there for the taking. The frustration comes from the failure to capitalise on their injuries in terms of both their makeshift line-up and the 3 first half substitutions. If Liverpool had played anywhere near their best, victory would have come easy. Old Trafford is a very difficult place to get a result but circumstance improved our chances greatly and Liverpool failed to react. We attacked very poorly and never looked like causing their defence any problems. De Gea was not troubled at all despite Liverpool’s dominance of possession which is difficult to take. The front 3 were appalling, in particular Mohamad Salah, who we expect so much more from. And yet despite all this, we are discussing a draw again instead of defeat. Perhaps an overwhelming positive is even in our worst performances and amidst our biggest blips, the Reds are so difficult to beat. Incredibly, the defeat against the best team in the world that could have gone either way remains the only one. These points against United, Leicester and West Ham may prove vital yet. As another positive is, the Mighty Boys in Red are top of the league again and Manchester City are running out of games.
Many times over the years in tight matches where not much happens, we give the man of the match award to the gamechangers, the striker who was in the right place at the right time and made the vital contribution. On Sunday, the gamechanger was at the other end of the pitch as Alisson provided the only moment of sheer quality throughout the 90. That save versus Jesse Lingard was an outrageous piece of goalkeeping that deserves to be praised and discussed as much as possible. He’s got no right to save that. That is a goal against any other keeper in the world. All keepers act the same way in certain situations as it’s widely considered the best thing to do. In this scenario, the thing to do is commit and make yourself as big as possible to block the oncoming shot in any way you can. Lingard has done his homework and very cleverly steps aside anticipating this. In his mind, he either wins a penalty or taps it into the empty net. How Alisson manages to win the ball and avert the danger is astonishing and shows his intelligence and lightning quick reactions. Having a world class goalkeeper who can show up in moments even in games where he’s not tested often is a huge factor in Liverpool losing just a single league game.
Wednesday is Watford. The Reds march on. Despite the disappointment of Sunday, we remain in control. We all know Liverpool are well capable of putting a run together of 7 or 8 wins, especially given our remaining fixtures. With each passing game, our confidence rises, as does the pressure on Manchester City. In the corresponding fixtures of our 11 remaining opponents, Liverpool have won 10 and drawn 1. City will have to be almost perfect or at least that’s what Pep is thinking. Liverpool will bounce back as they always do under Klopp.
Watford should be very scared.