A big sigh of relief could be heard probably worldwide yesterday, as Liverpool finally put their wretched January run of games behind them and took all three vital points from Tottenham Hotspurs. The Reds were possessive and ruthless yesterday, showing a side that had seemed completely lost in the month previous. Oh yes, there you are winning Liverpool. We missed you.
“It doesn't make up for it but it’s a start in the right direction and we just need to keep going on like that until the end of season,” captain Jordan Henderson said following the match. “I thought we played well, even without the ball we were still in control. [We were] much better in terms of performance and obviously result [compared to] recent weeks.”
The midfield especially played with a drive and cohesion that had certainly been missing, thanks in no small part to Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum’s partnership, with the latter putting in a Man of the Match performance and gifting the assist to Sadio Mané to open up the score. Playing against the big teams, though, has never been an issue as Liverpool remain undefeated against teams in the top six this season - it’s against smaller clubs that the Reds struggle, and the captain is all too familiar with the issue.
“That needs to change quickly. We need to solve that issue, really,” responded Henderson. “But if we keep playing that it doesn't matter who it's against, that’s the level set. We need to play like that every week no matter who it is we play against and that's what we try to do from now until the end of the season.”
With thirteen matches left still to play, there’s conceivably plenty of time to fix those mistakes and plenty of smaller clubs to play. Time still to tell if Liverpool’s problems are much smaller than they’ve appeared to be.