After snapping league leading Manchester City’s unbeaten run in a thrilling 4-3 win at Anfield, Liverpool saw their own 18-match streak come to a crashing end when bottom of the barrel Swansea City eeked out a point at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night.
Slowing proceedings down to a crawl, the Jacks secured a vital three-points in their bid to climb out of the relegation zone with Alfie Mawson’s first half strike enough to see the hosts through to the final whistle — which, to be fair, wasn’t the first time the Welsh side upset the Reds in the Premier League. They’ll be back running the race for Champions League qualification when they travel to Huddersfield Town on Tuesday, but before they can even consider that they’ve got to deal with West Bromwich Albion coming to town in the 4th round of the FA Cup on Saturday evening — a perfect chance to get themselves sorted out.
“If you take a point, yes, we have a longer [unbeaten] run but it doesn’t make the game better. That’s what we have to think about,” said Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to the press ahead of the meeting with the Baggies. “I don’t forget that the boys delivered in the last few weeks and months but, for the moment, it doesn’t help. We need to feel both – it’s not about thinking about what we did well. We need to deliver all the time, we know that and we didn’t deliver,” added the German manager, laying out a blunt assessment of the loss to the Jacks. “No points or one point is maybe a big difference at the end but now, again, we have to strike back immediately. That’s what we will do.”
Having not only the lion’s share of possession, but the bulk of the chances, Liverpool left the Liberty Stadium knowing full well they created more than enough to have taken at least something from their trip to Wales — a similar story to the one we were left with when we last faced off with West Brom.
Employing a similar tactic, the Baggies kept bodies behind the ball and looked to frustrate rather than create as they claimed a share of the spoils in a score-less outing at Anfield last month. If the Reds are going to see themselves through to the next round, they’re going to have to take their chances when they come. We have a number of player’s that are more than capable of putting the ball in the net, but if you ask Joe Gomez, there’s one in particular that comes to mind when it comes to the big occasion.
“It’s nice to play alongside him on the right flank – you feed him the ball and let him do what he does,” said the Reds fullback when asked about Mohamed Salah. “He has been outstanding for us and I think he’ll continue to keep scoring the way he does because it’s not just luck – it’s his ability and his eye for goal,” explained the 20-year old defender. “On the ball, he makes his own space whether with his skill or his strength because he holds people off very well. When you give it to him, nine times out of 10 he is creating something or keeping the ball,” added Gomez. “He is world-class – he has proved that.”