Winless in four games, Anfield record gone, players dropping like flies, mentally drained and low on confidence. The last thing many believed this Liverpool side needed was a Champions League tie against RB Leipzig. Yet, 90 minutes later, and it turned out to be the perfect remedy to cure the Liverpool crisis.
Not many things can be guaranteed this season, but, one thing that can be is Jurgen Klopp’s side turning up for the big occasion. Leipzig, having knocked out Manchester United, presented the greatest of challenges in the toughest of times.
But, it is in those toughest times when fighting talk turns into battling performances and, ultimately, much-needed victories.
Now, heading into the rest of the season, Liverpool must use the RB Leipzig result as the springboard to jump back into the top four.
Liverpool Must Use Leipzig Result as Springboard to Success
Kabak Influence Vital in Liverpool Win Over RB Leipzig
It was a performance of maturity, experience and one of someone looking to ensure a permanent place in Merseyside from a 20-year-old fresh from a Bundesliga relegation battle.
The sheer presence of a natural defender, alone, would have boosted Liverpool. For all of the excellent work that Jordan Henderson does, it becomes obvious in several scenarios that he is, in actual fact, a central midfielder and not a central defender.
As highlighted by his Leipzig performance, Kabak carries all of the natural traits expected from a modern-day central defender. And if his performance on the eye fails to do the former Schalke man justice, the stats further add accreditation to his display.
The Turkish international won the most tackles in the game, most interceptions, completed 43 of his 51 passes, made two clearances and didn’t get dribbled past once.
And with that performance came a clean sheet and a Liverpool win. It’s almost as if Jurgen Klopp’s biggest problem this season has been a lack of centre-backs. Who would have thought?
Curtis Jones Quickly Becoming Key Man
On Liverpool’s right-hand side, it was all about the young guns. Kabak, as previously mentioned, showed his class. Trent Alexander-Arnold also sent everyone a timely reminder of his talents. But it was Curtis Jones who shone brightest in the middle of the park.
The academy graduate has gone from the fringes of the Liverpool squad to a key player. Even as the Reds faltered in recent defeats, it was the academy graduate who continued to perform. This time, the rest of the team matched his energy to combine for a scintillating victory.
It was a stunning performance to watch from the youngster who slowly began to dictate the game. Once again, the stats add further accreditation to the display.
By the time the fulltime whistle sounded, Jones had completed an all-round midfield display- maintaining an 81% pass completion rate, making three interceptions and registering one assist. He simply gets better and better as the stage gets bigger and bigger at Liverpool.
Merseyside Derby: A Must-Win Game
Currently, in sixth, Liverpool have it all do to reach the top four by the end of the season. Starting with the Merseyside derby on Saturday, their resurgence in the league must start.
They sent a timely reminder of their capabilities against Leipzig. Now, they must stamp home that message in the biggest game against Everton for years. Win, and they could go fourth once more.
Fail to gain three points, and they could fall five points adrift of the Champions League places. The Leipzig win was a much-needed one, and one Liverpool must use as a springboard back to success.
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