“What a game!” Gini Wijnaldum said, speaking for all of us after the final whistle blew on Liverpool’s Anfield victory against current champions Manchester City. There were some close calls, but the Reds earned the three points and jumped to nine points ahead of City on the table.
The hype before the game was through the roof, and unlike in similar situations, this match up didn’t disappoint. While Liverpool fans would have been happy to win via Claudio Bravo accidentally mis-kicking the ball into his own net, the players instead awed us with three absolutely gorgeous goals from several different sources.
The first was a stunner from Fabinho. The second featured a pinpoint accurate pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold to Andy Robertson to switch play, followed by Robertson teeing it up brilliantly for Mohamed Salah to head it home. And the final goal came when Jordan Henderson ran to the byline and crossed the ball straight into the path of Sadio Mane.
That kind of team effort is indicative of the kind of transcendent season the Reds are having, even against the league’s best.
“They just grew in the game [after Liverpool’s flying start] and we tried to stop them with all we had,” Wijnaldum admitted.
“That’s what we did but you could still see that they have a lot of quality, so we did everything but sometimes they still came through our press. That’s the kind of team we were playing against today but I think overall we did a tremendous job by playing the way we played in there and we can be proud of ourselves.”
It’s not just Sunday’s performance that they can be proud of. Liverpool have yet to lose a game in the league, they’re still in the Carabao Cup, and they currently sit atop their group in the Champions League. Many of the games haven’t been easy or great viewing, with the team having to claw their way back from a deficit against Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, and Arsenal, but they’ve still managed to do the business in the end.
That kind of grit and determination has started to give the team some hope of bringing the league trophy back to Merseyside.
“Yeah, [with] the way we’re getting the results, with going behind and still managing to win the games,” he stated.
“Look at last week when we played Aston Villa away, I think everybody thought we might lose the game or draw but we managed to win the game at the end. Those kind of moments give you confidence during the season and that’s what we have right now: we have confidence because of the results we are getting but also because of the football we are playing. That’s what we showed today.”
As the players scatter to go off and play with their home countries, it’s nice to have something positive to ruminate on while we await their return.