It’s been a difficult two months in the league for Liverpool. In that time, the defending champions have struggled through a crippling injury crisis and fallen back, plummeting from the top of the table and into a battle to finish in the top four.
On Sunday there was some respite—a solid performance and all three points, albeit against Sheffield United, the worst team in the league. Still, at this point a win is a win and goals scored are goals scored, and that had Jürgen Klopp feeling positive.
“I was never in doubt about the togetherness of this team,” Klopp said following the match. “So the world is like this, we win a game and we show togetherness obviously. We don’t win a game and people think we do not have togetherness.
“It’s not as easy as that, but it was clear that we would be like this and that we would try everything—not only for Ali but also for him of course. We needed the points obviously to keep in contact with the teams above us so it was very important.”
The win leaves Liverpool in sixth but draws them within two points of West Ham in fourth and just a point off Chelsea in fifth, with Klopp’s Reds set to host Thomas Tuchel’s Blues in a mid-week match that looks to have major ramifications.
It’s not, perhaps, the battle anyone expected Liverpool to be in when the season started, but having lost four of their top five choices at centre half, expecting them to keep pace with Manchester City was probably always out of the question.