After three years, Jürgen Klopp and his wonderful Reds have given us some fantastic moments and entertaining matches. We’ll take a look at this writer’s top five favorite games played by Klopp’s Liverpool in the Premier League. With over league 100 games to choose from, and thankfully a much higher percentage of gems than stinkers, it’s safe to say that your list will probably be different than mine.
5. Norwich City 4 - 5 Liverpool (January 23, 2016)
Norwich City: Dieumerci Mbokani (29’), Steven Naismith (41’), Wes Hoolahan (54’ PEN), Sebastien Bassong (90’+2’)
Liverpool: Roberto Firmino (18’, 63’), Jordan Henderson (55’), James Milner (75’), Adam Lallana (90’+5’)
It’s not often that a football game yields nine goals between the two teams. That alone is worth a mention. This game was an interesting beast though. So many of Liverpool’s best games, even under Klopp, come with the caveat but the defense, and this game is no exception. Liverpool’s frustrating lapses in defensive judgment and inability to hold onto a lead, coupled with their blistering attack, have been the reasons for many a Liverpool fan’s heart problems.
This game, for example, was absolutely bananas and the perfect storm of those two phenomenons. Firmino opened the scoring early in the first half, only for the Reds to be down 3-1 by the 55th minute, thanks to some questionable defending — by Alberto Moreno in particular. Then the attack kicked in, and 20 minutes later, James Milner had Liverpool up 4-3. That would have been enough to make this an entertaining match, but then there were not one, but TWO huge added time goals. The first game from Sebastien Bassong, who must have thought that he’d clawed back a point for the canaries. But he didn’t take into account Adam Lallana, whose scuffed shot just barely looped over Rudd’s head on 90+5’, providing Liverpool with one of them most dramatic Premier League wins in recent history.
4. Liverpool 4 - 0 Arsenal (August 27, 2017)
Liverpool: Roberto Firmino (17’), Sadio Mané (40’), Mohamed Salah (57’), Daniel Sturridge (77’)
Ok, first of all? Look at that gorgeous goal scorers’ list. Each member of Liverpool’s attack got in on the action at Anfield last season when the Reds decimated Arsenal. Even Danny Sturridge nabbed himself a goal — and this was last season when he was plagued by injuries and coping with a downturn in his performances, not this season, when he’s scoring every time he steps onto the pitch.
This match, in my mind, was also the one where Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said, “Yeah, you know what? I’m outta here” and made it a priority to start playing on the right side of Anfield instead.
There were a few momentary spells where Arsenal looked competent, but they were few and very far between. Their defense had no answers to Liverpool’s insane attack, and seeing each of those front three score and both Firmino and Salah rack up an assist as well. It the precursor of what was to come from those three players working together to form a well-oiled machine.
3. Chelsea 1 - 3 Liverpool (October 31st, 2015)
Chelsea: Ramires (4’)
Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho (45+3’, 74’), Christian Benteke (81’)
Liverpool come from behind to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It’s more fun because it was a Jose Mourinho team, in the middle of Mourinho’s third season meltdown. Ramires opened the scoring early for Chelsea, and for a while there it looked like Liverpool were going to be in trouble. It took a bit of Phil Coutinho magic right before the break to deflate the Chelsea confidence and give Liverpool hope.
In the second half, Oscar nearly got the jump on Mignolet when he attempted to take advantage of the keeper being too far off his line with a shot from nearly halfway. Then Lucas Leiva should have probably been sent off with a second yellow. But both of those things went Liverpool’s way, and it was a frightening Halloween for Jose Mourinho. The nail in the coffin, so to speak, came from Christian Benteke, of all players, a late substitute. It was a fine way for Klopp to earn the first big win of his Liverpool career.
2. Arsenal 3 - 4 Liverpool (August 14, 2016)
Arsenal: Theo Walcott (31’), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (64’), Calum Chambers (75’)
Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho (45’+1’, 56’), Adam Lallana (49’), Sadio Mané (63’)
The second Arsenal match on the list kicked off Klopp’s first full season with a bang. It was another classic Liverpool rager, that started at the very end of the first half, when Coutinho again showed that magic stardust he had about him by belting one in off a free kick on the cusp of halftime to even the scoring and take a jackhammer to Arsenal’s confidence.
One might think the break would cool heads, but instead Liverpool came out in the second half on fire. Between the 49th and 63rd minutes, Liverpool scored three (three!) more goals to balloon their lead to 4-1. The most gorgeous of the goals was Sadio Mané’s 63rd minute solo effort that saw him get the ball on the wing halfway down the pitch, then glide, shimmy, and strong-arm his way inside the box, past the Arsenal defense, to rocket the winning goal home. It was a hell of a way for winger to open his Liverpool account, that’s for sure.
But never ones to do things the easy way, the Reds allowed Arsenal to fight their way back into the game, coming within one goal after trailing by three. This meant the way for the final whistle was a nail-biter instead of the smooth sailing it should have been.
1. Liverpool 4 - 3 Manchester City (January 14, 2018)
Liverpool: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (9’), Roberto Firmino (59’), Sadio Mané (61’), Mohamed Salah (68’)
Manchester City: Leroy Sané (40’), Bernardo Silva (84’), Ilkay Gündogan (90’+1’)
Oh hey, speaking of matches where Liverpool were clearly the better team but then bobbled the finish, but barely still came away with a win, the number one game on my list of Liverpool’s top five best Premier League games under Jürgen Klopp is also the most recent one on the list. The mighty Manchester City, basically the Champions-elect by last point, barely two weeks into January, had yet to lose a game in the league until they came to Anfield.
Not only did Liverpool with this game, but they absolutely dominated City from the first minute all the way until the 84th. And then, on top of that, Firmino, Mané, and Salah hit the triumvirate in less than 10 minutes, with each of them bagging their own goals between the 59 and 68 minute mark.
After the horrible way they’d crashed and burned at the Etihad earlier that season, it was extremely satisfying for Liverpool to get their revenge. It was a bit dimmed by Silva and Gündogan finding the back of the net in the last ten minutes, but Liverpool got the three points in the end.
This game was also, somehow, only the third best performance that Liverpool gave against City last season. The other two occurred when the Reds drop-kicked them out of the Champions League that spring.
There you have it. Those are my top five Premier League games of the Jürgen Klopp era. So which ones did I miss? Have your say in the comments below.