Liverpool’s 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest wasn’t the prettiest win you’ll ever see from the Reds, but it was an important three points regardless. Style points rarely matter, but they especially don’t given the predicament Liverpool find themselves in. If they have any hope (a sliver, a chance, a twinkle in the eye) of finishing in the top 4 this season, the Reds very much have to shoot now and ask questions later.
Overall, the ninety minutes was Liverpool resembling their old dominate selves, except it was like the store brand knockoff. It had shades of the best Liverpool we’ve ever seen, with methodical attacking patterns and relentless possession around the opponent’s penalty area. However, it’s 2023, so it also featured Liverpool making silly and dumb mistakes while coming up against some “I can’t believe this” bad luck. Nottingham Forest scored two deflected goals that came from throw ins. It’s a funny game sometime.
There’s a lot of this performance that Jurgen Klopp and the squad can look at and be encouraged by. Diogo Jota scored twice, Trent Alexander-Arnold dominated the midfield again, and Mo Salah continues to etch his name into the Liverpool history books. 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.
Winners and Losers
It’s been some year for Jota. He goes from not scoring for a full calendar year after dealing with some horrible injuries coming back into the team and playing poorly. Then he scores 4 goals in two games. He can be infuriating at times, but when he’s in form he will score important goals. Funny enough, I was chatting with a friend at half time about how annoying his first half positioning was. I thought he was too deep and not close enough to the goal. Then...he goes and scores twice. Shows you what an idiot I am, I guess.
Mo Salah, Liverpool Legend
If you spend any time online, either on Reddit or Twitter, people will have you believe that Salah is having a poor season. Not just by his standards, but overall. There are shouts that he’s a waste of money and should be shipped off for pennies on the dollar.
Anyways, with his goal today he moved into 6th all-time on Liverpool’s goalscorer list. He’s tied with Robbie Fowler on 183 goals, but he’s reached that mark in 71 fewer matches than Fowler did. Seventy-one. A seven and a one!
He’s currently on 38 goals and assist through 44 matches. That’s his third highest tally of his Liverpool career and there’s still seven games to go.
Trent’s “new” position
There’s been much made about this “new” hybrid role that TAA has been playing. He’s not playing like a traditional right back nor is he playing like a traditional midfielder. This position created havoc against Arsenal and Leeds United, but with enough game tape on it now, Nottingham Forest game into the match with a game plan for it. They had a midfielder man-marking Trent wherever he went. So, Trent moved his marker out of position to open up a bunch of space in the midfield. Not only that, he also picked up an assist.
Friend of the blog and Liverpool throw-in coach Thomas Grønnemark must’ve been pulling his hair out watching Nottingham Forest’s two goals. Sure, both of the goals took multiple deflections, but they also came from Liverpool’s breakdown on throw-ins. Need to clean that up.
What Happens Next?
Well, Liverpool have seven matches between now and the end of the season. If they want to finish top 4, they realistically need to win all of them. Style points at this stage don’t matter. Just get the job done. They can’t win all seven at once, though. They have to beat West Ham on Wednesday before they beat Tottenham next Sunday. And then, after that, it’s five to go.
A big week this week for feeling alive or allowing the dread to become overwhelming.