first_imgTagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Lucky Liverpool? Yeah – and they deserve it Leno, Mourinhoby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: Bernd Leno was doing his best Jose Mourinho impersonation in the aftermath of Liverpool’s trouncing of Arsenal on Saturday…The goals – all five of ’em – were “unlucky”, claimed the Gunners goalkeeper. And the foul for Mohamed Salah’s penalty debatable. Fortune was simply with the hosts on the day.And to be fair, you can understand Leno’s reasoning. Another day. Another ref. And Sadio Mane is shown red for grabbing Stephan Lichtsteiner around the throat early doors. With Arsenal still in touching distance after halftime, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang isn’t missing from under Alisson’s crossbar. And just as Mourinho had complained a fortnight ago before losing his job at Manchester United. Liverpool’s goals in both games were full of ricochets. Deflections.But what was also common over the two games was how through sheer force of will, Liverpool managed to find those goals. Yeah, they were lucky. But they made that luck themselves. Driving forward. Attack. Attack. Attack. There’s nothing subtle about Jurgen Klopp’s team at the minute. Nothing measured. They go at it at 110%. And what tends to happen to people – to teams – who behave like that, they end up being luckier than most. The more shots. The more waves of attacks. The more chances you have of scoring.Okay, okay. Itis a bit more sophisticated than that. But Liverpool are not nine points clear at the top of the table for second guessing themselves. For holding back. Something has clicked these past 18 months. That drive. That passion we see on the pitch. It’s reflective of what has been occurring inside the boardroom – whether that be at Anfield or in Boston. And that approach is being rewarded in spades.While others held back – including Manchester City and Khaldoon al-Mubarak – Liverpool paid what was needed to ferry Virgil van Dijk away from Southampton. Another board. Another know-it-all exec. And Klopp would’ve been told to cool his jets. To make do with Joel Matip. But not FSG.When others – including an England captain – spoke against adding Xherdan Shaqiri to his squad. Klopp backed his judgment. Was supported by his transfer committee. And rolled the dice. Alisson Becker? Andrew Robertson? None were deals celebrated unanimously by those inside the game. But the manager – and the club – never hesitated.For the moment, everything they touch is turning to gold. But the differences is, this club. And these players. They’re not holding back waiting – hoping – for it to all fall in place. They’re out there. Making it happen. Yeah, fortune appears to be with Liverpool, but only because they’re willing to fight for it.So now they’re three wins clear at the summit. But there is a qualifier. There has to be at the midway stage of the season. But it’s a qualifier that is part tribute to what Klopp and Liverpool have managed to do in recent weeks.It was only a month ago and many were saying how far City? And not just this season. But in terms of an era. A Blue dynasty. They appeared unstoppable. Untouchable. Yet now, Pep Guardiola’s lot are more concerned about second place and Tottenham than keeping in touch with the runaway Reds.City haven’t suddenly turned from champions to chumps. But it’s a tribute to the work of Liverpool that a team some were declaring the greatest seen in English football are now eating their dust.Liverpool haven’t benefitted from City being dragged back down. They’ve taken their standards to a new level – and City are now having to find it within them to catch up. And they surelywill come again. A returning Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy will make sure of that. And then the onus will be thrown back on Liverpool to find another gear – something which Klopp has always insisted is well within them.Guardiola threw it out there last week. ‘It’s far easier being the hunter than the hunted’, he declared. A warning which fell flat on it’s face after Saturday’s Anfield performance.The City manager must know, it’s going to take much more than a generic throwaway line to force this Liverpool team off their stride. There justis something about them this season.Witness Mo Salah’s gesture. On a day when Aboubakar Kamara is being slated by his manager and fans for his behaviour around a Fulham spotkick. Salah does the opposite. A Golden Boot. A goals bonus. He sacrificed it all. And won praise from Klopp after giving up his penalty for Roberto Firmino to complete his hat-trick. That’s something no amount of spending can buy.Leno. Mourinho. Yeah, they can point to lucky moments in games. But you don’t haul in today’s Manchester City team on good fortune. Liverpool have made their own luck. And the standard to beat. It’s now up to the rest in 2019 to catch up.last_img

Leave a Comment

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