The race for top four is on.
After 750 excruciatingly scoreless league minutes at Anfield, the Reds finally rippled the net, not once but twice in a dramatic, come-from-behind 2-1 win over Aston Villa to leap back into the Champions League places in the table.
With the Reds one of five teams contending for the final two places in the top four, Jürgen Klopp’s men already came into the game in desperate need of a third consecutive league win, without even considering the weight of the 7-2 drubbing in October’s reverse fixture.
The desired result looked in doubt however, as Villa’s Ollie Watkins scored at the end of the first half against the run of play followed by a dubious VAR call chalking off Roberto Firmino’s equalizer moments later.
Klopp admitted that his side were angry in the halftime locker room but that they chose to direct their frustration to the second half battle:
“We dominated the game, but we made one mistake and concede a goal,” the German said in his post-match interview.
“Then we score the equalizer, but it’s ruled out for offside. At half-time it wasn’t the best mood, you can imagine, but the words were OK.
The defending champions flew out of the blocks in the second period. Mohamed Salah eventually restored parity in the second half before Trent Alexander-Arnold continued his personal crusade against his recent England snub by scoring a dramatic stoppage time winner to secure all three points.
“I didn’t have to lift them too much,” Klopp continued.
“They knew if we continue to play like we did we would create chances again. We dealt with their game really good. It was massive, it felt massive to win. A real relief.
“We needed that win today, these three points feel big.
“We have to put the other teams under pressure. Everyone knows that when we get on a run we are dangerous.”
All eyes will be on Chelsea as they take on Crystal Palace in the late window, as well as a juicy win-win fixture on Sunday between third place Leicester City and fifth place West Ham.