Service has resumed at Anfield and Liverpool have taken back the summit of the Premier League table with a convincing 3-0 win over the visiting Bournemouth. An on-fire Sadio Mané, excellent returning Gini Wijnaldum and a wonderful team move ended by Mohamed Salah all struck at to calm the nerves of the Anfield faithful following a turbulent January.
After mounting injuries and lukewarm results saw Liverpool drop points the last two times out with draws to West Ham and Leicester City, as well as letting in an uncharacteristic seven goals in the previous five games in the first month of 2019, manager Jürgen Klopp returned to the aggressive counterpressing of his first two and a half seasons to put the overmatched Cherries to the sword.
With his side staving off the threat of a surging Manchester City for at least one week, the German, praised his side’s fighting spirt following the match:
“We have high expectations and today we won in an impressive manner – we had some outstanding performances on the pitch. Goal number three was world-class,” the 51-year-old said speaking to Match of the Day in his post-game interview.
“We wanted to show a reaction. It’s our job not only to come through but to really perform and convince.
“We were not happy with the performances from the previous two games and struggled a bit with set-pieces.
“There were a lot of things we had to improve and we have had injuries and fit players who had become ill overnight on the day before a game.”
Wijnaldum was the standout performer on the day, with the Dutchman’s return to the lineup after missing the past few fixtures reminding fans of his importance in the engine room and even capping off the day with his second goal of the season, an expertly-taken chip to make it 2-0.
The Reds no. 5 almost didn’t even make the team sheet however, with Klopp revealing that the midfielder came into the day ailing:
“[Wijnaldum] didn’t sleep in the team hotel last night. He had diarrhea and vomiting two nights earlier so he couldn’t come to the team hotel,” Klopp admitted.
The Reds now get an extended break before welcoming Bayern Munich to Anfield on February 19 for an epic first leg of the Champions League knockout stages.