After a busy opening few weeks as Liverpool juggled the start of their Premier League season with a pair of cup finals, the Reds are enjoying a slightly lighter end to August as they continue to work on their fitness levels.
It’s a relative quiet that won’t last, back-to-back weeks with an entire seven days between games, not with the Champions League and two domestic cups and the Club World Cup on the horizon. But for now, they’re taking advantage.
“To have a whole week for preparation is quite nice so we can use it,” Joël Matip told the club’s official website today. “everybody knows it’s so early in the season so we are just looking forward to the next game.”
They’re looking forward to the next game—and continuing to adjust to their standing in the game, starting the year as one of the favourites to win the league and with even other top sides ready to set up defensively as a result.
“We had to be patient and the result was good,” Matip said of Saturday’s victory. “We won at home against Arsenal, that’s always good. They were standing with two deep rows and with their speed in the front it was really difficult.
“We tried it over 90 minutes to come through. They were standing by their own box. But in the end it worked. We tried to push but it was not easy to come through. We did it not too bad, but against a high-quality team like this it’s hard.”
Hard but, in the end, Liverpool made the breakthrough. And if they can do that against a top six side determined to play them defensively, it can only help their chances against Burnley this week and then the rest of the league.