That was much, much more like it. Liverpool played some of their best football all season at Arsenal yesterday, dominating throughout even if it took until the second half to break the deadline. Few felt 3-0 was an unfair scoreline by the end whistle, and it’s three Premier League points that put the side back in contention for the Champions League places. Diogo Jota bagged two, with Mohamed Salah getting one as well.
The Liverpool manager certainly seemed happy.
“Very good”, BBC Sport report Jürgen Klopp as saying. “A top, top game. Our counter-pressing was at the highest level which is very important. In general, the defending from the whole team looked exactly as it should. I’m really happy with the whole performance and more so the three points.
“It is the first time in the season – Neco Williams came back and had a slight knock – but apart from the long-term injuries, all the boys involved tonight were fit and in really good shape. We could have lined up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, or Naby Keita or Xherdan Shaqiri is in really good shape, so these kinds of things, it is the first time we have had that. Hopefully that will help us.”
Speaking of how the Reds had to wait for their moment to score, Klopp added that “we are slightly used to [not scoring early on]. It is our year if you like - we have not scored with our first chances. [James Milner] didn’t score with a sitter pretty much. He thought the same! We have to work hard and try more often and all these kinds of things. Obviously we brought on Diogo [Jota] who is in very good shape. He stretched things. He played lots for Portugal that is why he didn’t start.
“Then we scored these wonderful goals and Trent Alexander-Arnold showed his class, again. I don’t want to make another discussion about Trent or stuff like that. I said it was Gareth [Southgate’s] decision. He is blessed with the choice he has in that position especially but Trent is in a good shape. If somebody says he is not then I have to say he is wrong, that is all. I am not responsible for his decisions.
“We don’t look at Chelsea or West Ham or whatever because we have to win our games but in our situation, other teams need to lose because we don’t play Chelsea again or Leicester and all these things. We have to keep working and that’s what we do. It’s a nice time. Tonight the package was extremely good and that’s what you need. You defend up front and deep as well. We got space for the counter-attack and everything. It was really good.”
Liverpool managed this game really well. Things broke right today, especially with Chelsea and Leicester both losing, but there’s still a lot of work to do. This was nonetheless a very good sign that the Reds can still play some excellent stuff.