Talking Points: Huddersfield 0 Liverpool 3

An Emre Can inspired Liverpool finally reclaimed some positivity with a convincing win over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday night. First-half goals from the German midfielder and Roberto Firmino gave the Reds a comfortable lead at the break, with Mo Salah notching up another goal with a late penalty to seal the victory.

Embed from Getty Images

Calm and controlling win just what the doctor ordered…

After things were looking so good after the win over Man City, well, we all know what happened in the next two games. An understandable meltdown had begun – one not helped by a lack of signings – and thus gaining three points from the trip to West Yorkshire was an absolute must. The Reds’ miserable run last season came in January and went on for far too many matches, but luckily this time the two-game losing streak was put to an abrupt stop. While some Liverpool supporters would have been happy with a dramatic 4-3 win, it was extremely pleasing to earn a victory with ease and in a match where Jürgen Klopp’s side never looked in any sort of danger. These are the kind of wins that must be seen more often and will prove that Liverpool do have some sort of game management skills. It feels like an eternity since Liverpool won a match so comfortably, with the 5-0 win over Swansea on Boxing Day probably the last occasion. Once the three goals were secured, it was also an important confidence booster for the defence and Loris Karius to keep a clean sheet – something that hasn’t been kept since the win against Swansea. More of the same please Jürgen.

Can might be off but performances like this are the best farewell gift… 

Recent comments from Can and now Klopp do seem to indicate that the midfielder will be leaving the Club in summer, likely for free, but before he goes it would be much appreciated if Can could help win as many matches for his team as possible. He’s off to a good start with his display against David Wagner’s team. Can is arguably the Liverpool player who splits opinion the most, and it could well be a case that he only puts bad or excellent performances and nothing in between. Against Huddersfield it was certainly a display to feel good about, with Can opening the scoring with a deflected long-range effort as well as winning the penalty for his side’s third goal. An underrated aspect of his game was also on show, with Can lofting over some delicious passes and crosses to the likes of Sadio Mane. Can was part of an interesting tactical tweak by Klopp, often playing as a right wingback while Joe Gomez stayed back as an extra centre-back, creating a 343 like system. It worked well, giving Can and Andy Robertson attacking and creative freedom while the Reds remained solid at the back.

Embed from Getty Images

Salah and Firmino thrive whilst Mane struggles – a pattern too familiar?…

Thanks to Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge being allowed to leave this month, Klopp has lost a significant chunk of goals from his side. Thus there is more pressure than ever before upon the shoulders of Firmino, Mane and Salah to deliver. But given Mane’s current poor form, Firmino and Salah are seriously carrying the side in attack at the moment. Mane seemed to spend most of the game against Huddersfield chasing his first touch while Firmino scored a cheeky goal and Salah took responsibility upon himself to score the penalty. The Reds are seriously depleted in attack for the rest of the season barring some miracle on the last day of the transfer window, and although they are keeping up with the pressure, it is not healthy for there to be so much riding on two players in Firmino and Salah. Given the depth in attack, the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana and possibly Alberto Moreno in a more advanced role could be crucial.

Despite awful January window Reds can swing top-four finish back in their favour…

So as mentioned, this January window has overall not been a good one for Liverpool supporters. What started so positively with the statement signing of Virgil Van Dijk has quickly developed into a window of despair and unreached dreams. Not beginning the process of replacing Coutinho this month simply isn’t good enough, and loaning Daniel Sturridge in preference of keeping Danny Ings and Dom Solanke seems to rub more salt in the wounds. But despite all of this, Arsenal’s loss at Swansea and a favourable result in Spurs’ game against Man United and all of a sudden a top four finish and at least one of the season’s targets being attained looks likely. The Reds’ have now regained their eight-point lead over the Gunners, and the lead over Spurs could at best also be eight come the final whistle in the meeting on Sunday. Even if Spurs were to beat Man United, Klopp’s side would then only be three points behind Mourinho’s men in second place. It still must be remembered how bad this window was, but after a week of despair, Liverpool could be coming out the end of the tunnel in a good place once again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar