Liverpool’s return to winning ways in the Premier League was not free-flowing; it was not pretty, but, crucially, it was the required performance. It was a victory that highlighted their ability to win ugly and see games out and showed their resilience: A trait they have failed to show on far too many occasions this season.
Jurgen Klopp would have loved a performance similar to the RB Leipzig game in mid-week but would have been perhaps more satisfied with his side’s returned resilience. It is a stubbornness that saw them secure their first Premier League title.
And now, with nine games to go, it is a trait they are crucially showing once more to keep their top-four hopes alive.
Liverpool’s Resilience the Key in Wolves Victory
Expressing Ability to Win Ugly
Winning ugly may be the most underrated trait in football. It is an ability that can make or break a title push. Just look at Liverpool, for example. Last season, when they secured their first league title in over 30 years, every week when the result looked impossible, they somehow found a way, much to everyone’s shock.
Against Aston Villa, they were 1-0 down in the 87th minute. By the time the referee blew his whistle for fulltime, they had won 2-1 with an ugly, performance of resilence from Liverpool’s point of view.
It’s those type of performances that saw them through to the title. They were the difference-makers. This season, injuries and other circumstances aside, that mentality looked to have evaporated at some points- as did Liverpool’s top-four hopes.
But, after convincingly defeating Leipzig, the onus was on Liverpool to replicate their performances in the Premier League. And they did. Again, it was not pretty or convincing. Yet, importantly, it was a resilient, ugly and mentally strong showing for one of few occasions this season.
A New Front Three Forming
Many questions have been raised about Roberto Firmino’s ability this season, and perhaps rightfully so. The Brazilian- like Liverpool- stopped showing classic traits such as his flair, hold up play and general sharpness.
And, in truth, his consistent underperforming began last season but went under the radar, overshadowed by a dominant title win. That grateful shadow has since evaporated, instead replaced by an insurmountable crisis.
With Jota gone, goals drying up and, the Anfield record burned to the ground, Firmino was left exposed. Now, with his turn on the injury table in the process, a new front three has formed.
One of pace, power, direct play; a much-needed ability to press from the front. A new trident is showing traits of the old, clinical attacking frontline. And Jota is the key to that. One swift swap of Jota and the now-injured Firmino has led to some kind of returned intensity within the Liverpool ranks.
Jota is a natural goalscorer as well as possessing traits of pressing similar to the aforementioned Firmino. Despite having three months out, the former Wolves forward has more goals than Timo Werner and Firmino and the same amount as Anthony Martial.
Liverpool’s resilience is returning and a new front three is forming at Liverpool, just in time to attempt mission impossible by rescuing their season.
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