Liverpool have had a tendency in the past to suffer let-downs after their best performances. So when the club followed up the beating of Chelsea on the road with a thumping of Hull City, many took it as a sign Liverpool might just have cleared that hurdle. Then they went into the half against Swansea down a goal.
“It was such a positive week!” said Jürgen Klopp, reflecting on the confidence the club, fans, and pundits had entered into the weekend with. “Interview here, interview there. The manager is brilliant. Everyone is enjoying themselves. Then at the end of the week Swansea is waiting with the knife between the teeth.”
Hull City, it turned out, wasn’t the let-down. Swansea was. Or at least the first half was. Unlike against Burnley, though, when Liverpool ended up down two goals and couldn’t ever make the breakthrough, here they were only down by one. And as Swansea began to tire, the breakthrough finally came for the visiting Reds.
“We have to get used to it,” added Klopp, touching on the fact that for teams like Swansea there will be a desire to raise their game when they face Liverpool—just as Liverpool’s players have when they’re taking on the likes of Chelsea. “To be a successful team, you need to be a challenger in each game.”
In the end, though, Liverpool were able to find their game and earn a difficult, hard-fought victory over a stubborn opponent. In the end, it was a let-down game and performance, but one that in the end Liverpool still managed to walk away from with three points. A positive result despite a shaky team showing.
Now, the focus turns to preparing for Manchester United following the October international break, a home date against Liverpool’s rivals the manager should have no trouble getting his players fired up for—and a game that, depending on other results, could see Liverpool in first place if they take all three points.