Middlesbrough 0-3 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool are back to winning ways.
Without a doubt the most noticeable change that was made to the starting lineup was to take a fully fit and not suspended Loris Karius out of the side and replace him with Simon Mignolet.
Karius performances haven’t been peak performances lately. He hasn’t been able to keep a clean sheet very many times and conceding several goals to teams that have been in the relegation zone or the bottom half of the Premier League table seems to have inspired Klopp to do as most fans have been asking… “bring back Mignolet”.
If you weren’t sure if the manager listens to the fans or not – this is your answer!
He heard you begging for Mignolet to be the number 1 choice goalkeeper and he reacted, with your interests in mind. Brendan Rodgers never would have done this kind of thing, he was rather stubborn about choosing exactly who he wanted to choose without any influence from fans. He’d even “freeze out” the players he truly didn’t want and some of them never got back into the squad again. Daniel Agger eventually went back to Denmark and would retire after a season in his home country. He was one of our best defenders in many years and fans loved him though Rodgers was rather adamant that he was not going to be used. Klopp’s more openminded than that. He’s got the brain of a football manager but also the heart of a football fan, which pleases me. He’ll please all our fans because he’s one of us.
I really am so happy about this change, I could cry. This hopefully is the start of many fixtures in which Mignolet’s name will be right there at the top of the list. How could Klopp NOT keep starting regularly with him now? He just got a clean sheet upon his return and that’s something which we could have sorely used multiple times this season but Karius could not provide for us.
Anyway… back to the game.
Liverpool did what needed to be done from the very first minute. We pushed forward as often as possible, held possession and dominated the flow of the game in attack after attack for goalscoring opportunities. Key attackers including Mané, Lallana and Origi were often seen putting pressure on the opponents as we showed a whole team’s worth of strength. Who got involved? EVERYBODY got involved. This was a real team effort. We looked motivated. We looked ready to start winning again. We looked determined to show any of the other Premier League sides who have been pushing for a top 4 place this season that “we’re not done yet”, even after a drawn and lost game recently.
The first goal would come around the half hour mark. Nathaniel Clyne would cross over a great chance for Lallana who leapt into the air and accurately headed home for Liverpool to take a lead they’d never lose.
There was only that one goal in the first half, despite all the attacking we’d be doing. Our opponents defence wasn’t entirely useless, apparently. We probably should have had more but they did enough defending to stop a bigger, more embarrassing scoreline happening to them.
The second half would see Liverpool still continue their attacking and would further their lead within quarter of an hour. Adam Lallana would make sure Divock Origi had his chance to finish from close range as the first goalscorer assisted the 2nd goal of the game.
So that was a nice assist and a nice goal and it’d be around 8 more minutes before Lallana could go back to scoring his own goals again.
This time, the assist would come from Origi who pulled the ball back to Lallana who was deep inside the penalty area, racing towards goal and struck the ball sweetly enough to power it past the goalkeeper and grab the game winner.
These 3 goals and 3 points push Liverpool back to second place, just 4 points behind Chelsea who we’re due to play at Anfield by the end of January.
Man of the Match
Adam Lallana contributed the most with an assist and two goals. He was the player who scored first and last, really making sure that Liverpool would not see a comeback as had happened with Bournemouth. We’d missed him during the recent time he spent injured and he probably wanted to make an impact upon his return. He’s done that, without a doubt. He’s helped get us back on track to winning ways and we’re climbing the Premier League table again.
The Merseyside Derby is soon to be played at Goodison Park, which is always exciting. Get ready to face our hometown rivals.
Until then, walk on with hope in your heart. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.