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Middlesbrough 0, Liverpool 3: First Thoughts

What started as a frantic, nervy affair, turned into a decisive and much needed victory at the Riverside for the Reds.

Middlesbrough v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Middlesbrough 0
Liverpool 3 Lallana 29’ and 68’, Origi 60’

  • Pre-match Thought: Much being said about Karius being dropped in favor of Mignolet today. Seems a tad weird after all the press about Klopp standing behind Karius after his mistakes and having faith in him, etc etc, but honestly what’s the worst that can happen? (Don’t answer that). The Reds are also without Matip after complaints of a foot/ankle problem so things will definitely go well today.
  • Toxic thunder again tonight. Double yikes. Because that’s gone so well. Those kits should be burned.
  • Middlesbrough take control early and are looking well organized and threatening.
  • Both teams ping-ponging through possession, and Boro’s defense looking like the biggest obstacle right now. Fifteen minutes in and things could just be warming up.
  • GOAL! 29 minutes and Adam Lallana puts Liverpool ahead one again after a laser of an assist from Nathaniel Clyne over the heads of the Boro defense.
  • Middlesbrough have the chance for revenge a minute later but surprisingly(?), thankfully(!) Mignolet makes a diving save to keep the toxic Reds ahead.
  • Mané with his best chance of the game so far at 42’ but it hits the post, hard. The sound of the ball smacking against the woodwork is going to haunt my dreams tonight.
  • Halftime: Liverpool leads by 1 and have been going full tilt, but Middlesbrough look poised to take over at any minute. Say what you will about Mignolet but his three saves have kept Liverpool in the game. Frantic passes abound and shaky possession by both sides could see this game go quickly one way or the other.
  • No changes for the second half and within a minute we see another chance by Mané swept away. The hard part isn’t scoring again, though. (A second would be quite nice).
  • Middlesbrough seem content to defend at this point - not quite parking the bus but definitely being effective in keeping us from scoring. So if this is how they wanna play it... by all means.
  • Stewart Downing comes on for Boro at 56’, just in case you wanted a bit of narrative with this one.
  • GOAL! Divock Origi makes it 5 in 5 with an assist from Lallana after picking it up from Mané. Perfect, beautiful passing.
  • Mané has been really unlucky not to score at all today, but there’s still a half hour for him to make it in. Liverpool have taken full control at this point. It’s their game to lose (please don’t lose).
  • AND ANOTHER! GOAL! Adam Lallana gets a brace and proves once again as the dark horse in Liverpool’s offense this season.
  • Lucas comes on for Lallana at 81 minutes, presumably to preserve the young llama before the derby on Monday. Lallana has been absolutely fantastic today and proving just how necessary he is to this squad.
  • Boro look like they’re playing just to be on the pitch at this point - it almost feels like a practice match with how much they’ve just laid down and let Liverpool run all over them. Not complaining.
  • Origi goes down at the 90th minute and comes off for Trent Alexander-Arnold. He walks off just fine, hopefully nothing to worry about. Three minutes of added time to see this one out for the Reds.
  • Final Whistle Thought: Absolutely superb from Liverpool today, a sigh of relief - although there was almost no way for them to not win this one as Middlesbrough all but gave up through the second half. A clean sheet before the derby on Monday, though, is more than any of us can ask for.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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