This weekend’s nervy 1-0 win against Huddersfield may have left a lot of fans with weaker hearts than when the game started, but Liverpool are sitting pretty with yet another clean sheet to their name. It’s no surprise to anyone watching that a defence led by Virgil van Dijk would perform solidly week after week, but after seasons of wincing any time the defence got involved, it’s a welcome feeling. To England and Red defender Joe Gomez, a lot of Liverpool’s defensive strength just comes down to training.
“We have worked a lot in training on being defensively sound as a unit and it’s paying off,” Gomez told the Echo after Saturday’s game. ”That’s what we want — keeping clean sheets. It helps that in terms of the defence we’ve all been here since last season.
“We have played quite a lot of games together now. There hasn’t been a new addition to the back four this season. It’s about communication and knowing each other’s game. There’s a good understanding back there, but it’s also just a good start.”
Liverpool have conceded a total of three goals in the nine games they’ve played so far this season. That’s a fantastic start and definitely one of the key reasons the Reds are sat at the top of the table alongside Manchester City.
”This is the foundation for the season ahead,” Gomez added. “There’s a long way to go. We have to carry it on and keep that habit.”
“It’s been a real team effort — it’s not just about the back four, it’s about how the whole team defend. We do it altogether. There’s a real desire and attitude to stop teams scoring, and that runs right through the team.
”It starts from the front. If they break the first line, our boys do so well to block passes. That helps us as a back four and puts us under less pressure so when we do have to defend it’s not like we’ve been having to do it for the whole game.”
The lack of constant pressure on the back four can only be a good thing as Liverpool prepare to take on Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League this Wednesday.
“These two games against Red Star are crucial for us in the group,” Gomez said. “It was disappointing to concede that late goal in Naples. These are important games. It’s still in our own hands, and we need to put in a solid performance against Red Star and come away with the points that we need.”