If you can’t stick your head in for a word after Merseyside Derby delight, then when can you? Plus, work has been quiet of late, which is an accurate barometer for the level of activity around these parts…Although the player ratings are a distant memory, I thought of cobbling together some observations from this morning’s match against our bitter (no other way to put it) rivals, Everton. A match in which the rampant Reds came away as 4-0 victors. Here are some recollections I took away from the match:
- Players like James Milner were built for the pointy end of the season. While many displayed a furrowed brow throughout the early parts of the season, opinions have turned about as quick as a pit-bull does on its next door neighbour. In the calendar year, Milner has 14 assists to his name. More than any other player in the Premier League this year. While Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino have been on form since the turn of the year, one could argue that it’s Milner’s form more than any other player which has set Liverpool in its current upward trajectory. For the season, Milner has racked up 18 assists and 7 goals in all competitions. I can still hear Manchester City fans bemoaning his exit. How they still yearn to have a player of his quality on the books. The England International’s experience is invaluable and quite simply, a price can’t be put on that. Credit must go to Brendan Rodgers for Milner’s acquisition.
- Daniel Sturridge scored his 50th goal for Liverpool Football Club. Only Roger Hunt and Fernando Torres reached this milestone in fewer games. The boy from Birmingham has scored 42 goals in 66 Premier League games for Liverpool. 50 goals in 87 games in all competitions. Suffice to say, when Sturridge plays, Liverpool’s chances of success increase rather dramatically. We already knew that, though, right?
- Divock Origi was once again revelling in the furnace of first team football, putting the Reds ahead just before half-time. Things seemed to be going swimmingly until Ramiro Funes Mori committed an atrocious tackle that could well have ended the young Belgian’s season. Leading up to the match, Jürgen Klopp talked about derbies and in the heat of passion a player should injure himself, not others. Funes Mori didn’t get the memo in what was a dog act and to add further insult, the player’s actions after his dismissal were a complete and utter disgrace. Shameful stuff and I would imagine the Everton P.R. machine to be in overdrive in order to quell the flames which are moving their way regarding this spineless incident.
- Mamadou Sakho. The cult hero was once again imperious and involved in the most pivotal moment of the match. His last ditch tackle on Romelu Lukaku was the turning point and subsequently, Liverpool scored twice shortly before the half-time break. The second goal scored by Sakho himself and indeed his second goal in as many starts; both of which he scored in front of the Kop. The city of Liverpool has always loved a fighter and a person who defies the odds. Sakho may have his critics (mostly from the blue half of Merseyside), but like Milner, those resistance voices recede as each game passes. The man simply is Boss!
- I have always maintained that the sign of a good team is not how they score, but indeed, when they score. In my opinion, between minutes 40 and 45 are the most crucial in the game of football. Liverpool has scored four goals within this timeframe over the last two games. This statistic alone illustrates that this team is most certainly moving in the right direction and while some may see this as a minute facet of the team’s overall performance, it’s the minor attentions to detail, the one percenters, which can transform a team from a losing one to a winning one and Jürgen Klopp is undoubtedly steering this team into the latter waters.
- Simon Mignolet devoured three hotdogs and a cup of tea (milk, no sugar) during the last 45 minutes between the posts. I understand one of the kind stewards at the Kop end procured these tasty delights for him.
By Simon K.