By most objective measures, Liverpool enjoyed the upper hand for much of the contest against Manchester United on Saturday, save for the one key measure that determines who gets the three points. By the time the referee called for full time, it was a depressingly familiar scenario, and one that occurs with such frequency that some supporters are unsurprisingly wondering whether the issue may be systemic.
Midfielder Emre Can feels, however, that the Reds are on the verge of a breakthrough in form, and that the club’s next match - another important Champions League fixture, this time against unfancied Maribor in Slovenia - will present the stage for that breakthrough. Quite frankly, if Liverpool can’t piece together a coherent performance against Maribor in the Champions League, it will be evidence that they are farther behind the curve than many expected.
“We have to win that game because we dominated for 90 minutes,” said Can of the team’s performance against Manchester United while speaking to SFR Sport. “I think we had good chances and United had one shot on target with Lukaku.”
Recognizing that, despite controlling the proceedings against a tough side, results are ultimately what matters, Can also noted that: “[i]t's the same story like before the international break but we have to go again on Tuesday because I think it's just a small, small step and then we will come in the right direction again.”
"It's too early [to make judgements], nothing is over yet and we have to believe in ourselves,” he added. While Can is likely correct that Liverpool still have enough time to make that breakthrough and fashion something special out of this season, at a certain point, it will be too late to make judgements.