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Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s 2-1 Victory Over Crystal Palace

With a victory over Crystal Palace in the books, we take a closer look at what it all means for the Reds.

Crystal Palace v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Do you feel alive? The air outside is crisp this time a year. You feel the cold in your soul a little bit. You need a little extra to get out of bed. How about Liverpool doing the business to get you up in the morning?

The Reds got the job done against Crystal Palace. It’s a routine score line in a match that was anything but. Perhaps rival fans are going about their day and they see the score on their phones and think nothing of it. But we lived it. We earned it. That 2-1 is ingrained on our souls.

Perhaps if this season really shapes up to the potential of what it could be this victory will be an afterthought. Maybe when we’re basking in the glory of a warm spring afternoon we forget the cold air of a brisk December morning. But your soul will still feel it. You still lived it. You still earned it. Most of all: you deserve it.

Now join us as we examine some of the narratives, tactics, reactions, and questions Liverpool will be dealing with and the fans will be talking about in the aftermath.

Dissecting the Narrative

Can a win be worth 9 points?

The thing about these matches is they all happen in context. The Premier League season is 38 games that are intertwined together. Even more so, the matches in December happen thick and fast. In the span of six days the Reds have played three matches in three different cities. Fulham in Liverpool on Sunday, Sheffield United in Sheffield on Wednesday, and Crystal Palace in London on Saturday at noon. It’s three wins for the Reds on the bounce and it could be the difference come May.

The Pessimist will say that those are three teams Liverpool are well better than. The Realist is probably pointing to last season and saying these are the matches Liverpool threw away. They’re both right. Maybe the Optimist is starting to look at the body of evidence and the league table and the hope of something special is starting to creep in. Just maybe.

Is this team any good?

There’s this overarching sentiment with most online Liverpool fans that the jury is still out on whether or not this team is “good” or not. It’s sort of starting to reach a boiling point where maybe the evidence starts to outweigh the emotion. As Josh points out above, it’s been about eight months and one massive summer overhaul and Liverpool just keep putting points on the board. It really is worth pointing out that the only loss we’ve witnessed was in a match where Liverpool ended the game with 9 players on the field, they scored a 96th minute own goal on themselves, and it featured a generation defining referee screw up that will be talked about until the Earth succumbs to solar flares of the Sun. Whether or not your preferences are or aren’t being met by the way the team is playing, the points are literally accumulating.

That’s not to discredit the preferences or emotions. The mad thing is Jurgen Klopp and the players could be doing better. Maybe you think or feel like the Trent Alexander-Arnold inversion doesn’t work as well as another tactical setup. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you think or feel like a different midfield setup would provide the Reds more stability and control. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you think certain forwards in the team need to be doing better. Maybe you’re right.

Maybe the points are on the board and maybe there’s a journey to be had here with this manager and these players. Maybe they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt to figure it all out together. There’s a plane being built here as it’s flying and things may look a lot different when it lands than when it takes off. The thing about walking a tightrope is no one ever gets the credit for starting. You only get the credit if you finish it. Pick whatever metaphor you want, but there’s something about being in the middle of it all and knowing things can get better.

So. Feel the cold December air with every breath you take. Allow your soul to feel December’s crispness just as you allow it to feel the Spring. This is how you feel alive, after all. It is a routine 2-1 score line, but the journey is anything but. You can’t feel the euphoric joy of Harvey Elliott’s game winner without feeling all of it. The daftness of a referee stopping the game to look at a marginal call that happened two minutes prior. The main man Mo Salah clawing the Reds back into it with his 200th goal for this glorious club, but hardly taking a moment to celebrate his achievement. You know why? Because he understands the maybe. He understands the possibilities.

It is possible that Liverpool win the league this campaign. Is it probable? I have no idea. But on the 9th of December there’s a distinct possibility of it maybe happening. For a few hours, at least, the Reds sit top of the league after winning 2-1 at Selhurst Park. I’ll take the maybe.

The maybe is what makes you feel alive.

Up the Reds.

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