For 31 matches, Liverpool were as flawless as you could reasonably expect a football team to be.
Then Manchester City dropped points at Chelsea, crowning Liverpool Premier League Champions, and almost immediately the results became...less than flawless. The Reds immediately got turned over 4-0 by City, and then a few matches later lost 2-1 to Arsenal, with both goals coming directly from mistakes by Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
Andy Robertson hopes the Reds have learned their lesson against the Gunners, as the sides prepare to face off in the Community Shield.
“Since their manager went in he’s been fantastic, he’s probably been a revelation for them,” Robbo explained in an interview with the club’s official website. “You can tell that the players are happy, you can see the whole feeling around the club has changed and that’s down to him and then the players buying in to it.
“So look, it’s a very different Arsenal than probably what we faced at the start of last season in the league when we blew them away at Anfield.
“But the lessons we learned are that we can’t switch off at any moment in the game. That’s for any team, but that game in particular we switched off in two situations and we got punished.
“It wasn’t a bad performance from us, we created plenty of chances, we got ourselves in front and then for whatever reason we had a two or three-minute spell where we lapsed our concentration and found ourselves behind and Arsenal go on to win the game.”
We know that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool does not like losing matches, regardless of the circumstances. And while the Community Shield is just a glorified friendly, it seems like the lads would like to put that defeat right, and as soon as possible.
“It was two teams going at it that day and I’ve got no doubt that will be the same on Saturday,” Robbo continued. “Hopefully a different result and we can come out on top, but Arsenal are a fantastic team. They’ve spent a good amount of money on high-quality players and their squad is full of quality that we need to face. We know we need to be at our best to beat them and that’s what we’ll try to do.”
It should be an excellent match today, and a good barometer for both squads going into next season. Even though the Reds ultimately lost to Manchester City on penalties in the Community Shield last year, their dominant second-half performance undoubtedly gave them confidence when the new season kicked off.
Let’s hope for a similar performance—and a better result!—today.