Back to winning ways! Liverpool FC beat Brentford at Anfield in Premier League Matchweek 22 action yet, somehow, there's a bit of a malaise around the fact our Reds won? I pose that as a question because I'm struggling to understand it.
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MATCHDAY – WEEK 22
LIVERPOOL FC 3 - BRENTFORD 0
The win has Liverpool FC back in 2nd place with a game in hand, yet the overall reaction to the win was more of a "phew" than a "woohoo"!
Even the dressing room's reaction was more of relief than the joy of winning. Curtis Jones shared a post on Instagram stating "That's more like it," which pretty much sums up the aching feeling among fans.
Fabinho coyly wrote "I'm actually liking" finding the back of the net, as if it were a question? Is there another answer to that question?
Yes, a win, but many fans have written off the season (erroneously, by the way), and so a win now doesn't feel as exciting as it might otherwise.
It could be remnants of shock from the midweek EFL Cup match against Arsenal, where our weakened team failed to capitalize on a man advantage to put one between the sticks.
Or, maybe it's the fact that the win wasn't as dominant a display as we all still expect from Liverpool, despite the missing attackers and still-numerous injuries in the midfield.
Either way, the claims the season is over are silly. If recent history has proven anything, it's that anything can happen in this league. Just last year those same fans wrote off our chances of Champion's League playback in March. But, here we are...entering the CL knockout stage after obliterating the "Group of Death."
Faith, my friends. FAITH!
LET'S BREAK IT DOWN...
Part of the malaise around the win may be that Klopp and team were not at their best, despite the 3-0 score line. The match ended with the Reds pressing and counter pressing more like their blueprint but the game certainly didn't start off that way.
Typically we rely on the Captain to boss the team around, getting them pumped up, angry, hungry for the win. Failing that it's Salah or even VVD who seem to inject a little adrenaline when needed. This time, the spark plug was Fabinho, the MOTM in my opinion.
He only scored one of three goals on the day but carried the team on his back for most of the match, recovering a lot of balls, marauding runs into box, and basically bossing the midfield.
Robbo (as you know can do no wrong in my eyes) had another strong performance showing the energy that we've come to rely on. Despite a number of poor corner kicks (seriously, Andy, what's up with the short corners?), his crosses from open play set up many chances, including the assist on Oxlade-Chamberlain's amazing header for the 2nd goal.
Trent's stats on the night were decent but I didn't see him at this absolute best. But credit must be given to an amazing corner kick to assist on a goal and winning six out of eight duels according to FotMob.
It was nice to see Bobby Firmino start to regain some of his magic on- and off-the-ball play in this match. Well, at least in the 2nd half. There was a joy in his play that seemed missing of late.
Takumi Minamino needed a big game. The missed shot on essentially an open next mid week against Arsenal could have been his Loris Karius Champion's League moment, essentially killing any future at the club. But his pace was impressive and his first touch after coming off the bench sealed the win. Klopp maintains strong faith in him, and, well, that's good enough for me.
Diogo Jota continued a slide in form, which may also have been affected by Klopp's tinkering with the front three set up throughout the match. One thing's for certain, Jota needs to play up from the left along side Robbo, just as Salah needs to be playing up the right. He was largely ineffective while hanging out or right side of the pitch during this match.
BACK IN THE PUB...
Well, sadly, there was no back in the pub.
Ontario remains in a state of lockdown, which means pubs remain closed for indoor dining. We hope to be back soon! Keep an eye on OLSC Toronto's social media and subscribe to our newsletters to stay in touch in the meantime!
Our member halftime draw was held remotely due to the lockdown but there's always a winner. Congrats OLSC Toronto member Eric Chambers on your matchday win! An OLSC Toronto scarf is waiting for you at the pub.
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HAVE YOUR SAY!
What are your thoughts on the match. Am I off my rocker for thinking we can still win the league? Robbo is the best LFC player, like, ever?! Jump in on the conversation below.
UP THE REDS!!
You’ll Never Walk Alone.
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