With the dramatic 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park Liverpool have finally been able to dismiss the hoodoo surrounding the fixture.
Liverpool went into the clash at Selhurst Park looking for the full three points in an attempt to catch up the teams higher up the table. Once again Jürgen Klopp’s men left it very late to win the game. Roberto Firmino was very fortunate to have the ball kicked straight at him by Alex McCarthy which set him up for an easy 1-on-1 opportunity which he coolly finished..
It didn’t take long for it to become obvious that Liverpool would be off the pace once again against a sub par team. Crystal Palace headed into the match having not been victorious in 11 games stretching all the way back to Christmas. Despite this abominable record you still would have thought a few times before betting on Liverpool to win.
Watching Liverpool needs to come with a health warning or at least those who visit the cardiologist need to be asked whether they regularly watch the Reds play football. What is observed in the life of a supporter of Liverpool Football Club is enough to create a spike in heart activity to the point of concern.
This was yet again the case. With Liverpool going behind (again), Milner getting sent off, Firmino being gifted a goal and Benteke winning and converting a penalty deep in to injury time. If that isn’t enough to incite cardiac arrest then I really don’t know what does.
My girlfriend, after realising we had won our third game in a row in the Premier League , was excited and wasted no time in getting me to imagine how it would be if “we win the whole thing.” Initially I was amused by her naïvety and lack of knowledge of the league but then it dawned on me that this is exactly what Jürgen Klopp wants for Liverpool fans: to dream.
At this moment Liverpool’s dream is to get back into the Champions League for next season and beating Crystal Palace was crucial to this dream. There are many speculative articles flying around about what is the best avenue to gain access into Europe’s elite competition.
The key, I would say, is to keep each route alive. Klopp will be looking to hedge his bets. For example, if Liverpool are successful over the two legs against Manchester United but then lose out in the quarter-finals against a side like Sevilla then no doubt Klopp will go all out in the league as it will be his only option. The main thing to consider is that it is unlikely that Liverpool’s German manager will completely disregard one for the other.
On Thursday night Liverpool take on Manchester United in the Europa League in the round of 16. Klopp rested Daniel Sturridge in the hopes that more time to recuperate or, may be not having to recuperate from playing against Palace, that he’ll be sharp and do some damage against Liverpool’s eternal rivals.
The game is being played at Anfield and is the first real test in the search for European glory for Klopp and his men. A positive first leg could mean less of a burden to rest players in the league as happened with Sturridge against Palace. Tottenham take on Dortmund in what is arguably the tie of the round. It is important to realize that the Europa League is no cake walk and that teams with Dortmund’s pedigree are in the tournament.
This week will be a defining one for Liverpool and as usual it will be Klopp’s intent to take full advantage of every opportunity. Since I know that my man, Jürgen reads my blog I’ll advise him not to take offence if the lads only beat Manchester United 3-0 on Thursday. I mean losing to 1-0 to West Bromwich is Liverpool stuff.