Liverpool where crowned champions weeks ago, and finally got to celebrate with their trophy a few days ago. There was little expectation for the game to have any real meaning or bite to it as neither team had anything to play for. Add in five changes to the Liverpool side and it was destined to be Not Great. Liverpool went down in the first minute after a quickly taken free kick, and then struggled to get going during much of the first half. The team grew into the game once Virgil van Dijk scored the equalizer, and it ended up being a comfortable win at the end.
Join us as we try and separate narrative from reality of the match up and how it all went down in the end.
Virgil van Dijk
The Dutch defender did it all today. He scored off of a well taken header, and snuffed out pretty much everything that came his way in defense. He was literally and figuratively immense.
The diminutive midfielder ran the game. He was always probing the Newcastle United defense with gliding runs and silky passes. He also added in four tackles with his dynamic pressing. Like last season, he finally put together a string of games to show just how influential he is on the field. The big question is can Keïta stay healthy to earn a regular role in this midfield.
The Scottish left back was fantastic today. He was at his energetic best getting up and down the left flank, and provided the assist to Divock Origi.
Is this harsh? Probably. But the 19 year old showed he still has a lot to learn about positioning and reading the game. He pushed high up the right side like Trent Alexander-Arnold does, but Williams was slower to read when there would likely be a turnover, and was often slow to begin his covering runs. He also drifted too far inside at times, meaning Joseph Gomez was pulled over to the right to cover more than usual. He has loads of potential, but still needs some time before he’s ready for a bigger role.
Mohamed Salah’s Shooting Boots
Poor Mo. Coming out of the three month layoff caused by the pandemic, he was in the thick of the Golden Boot race for the third year running. The last four games of the season, however, he’s been electric but his finishing has failed him in good positions. He hit the post again today with an absolute laser.
Unpacking The Narrative
With the win today, Liverpool finished the season with 99 points, a team record. The Reds finished as the Premier League champions, UEFA Super Cup champions, and FIFA Club World Cup champions. It has been an absolutely amazing series of accomplishments from this team. Take some time an revel in this, folks, these types of seasons are generational.
What Happens Next
That’s it, the season is a wrap! Liverpool players will get a two break before jumping back into preseason. Meanwhile, the transfer window officially opens tomorrow, so Jurgen Klopp, Michael Edwards, Tom Gordon, and the rest of the backroom staff will be knee deep in targets and potential transfers.
Thanks for joining us during this wonderful, chaotic season!