In the final home game of the season, Anfield faithful had to contend with a draw. One week ahead of the season-defining Europa League final, the draw holds very little relevance for the outcome of Liverpool’s season. Jürgen Klopp named quite a strong squad to face Chelsea in the penultimate Premier League game of the season. A wonder goal by Eden Hazard was cancelled out in the 92nd minute by Christian Benteke and ensured Liverpool stretch their Anfield unbeaten run to 13 games and take the run into the new season.
I would just like to say to all Liverpool supporters that a measure of chill is needed. 1-0 down at halftime and Liverpool Twitter was in meltdown. Many seem to believe that last night’s performance is a premonition of what is to come next week in Basel. The players played last night without the intensity which has become innate under Klopp in recent weeks. This can be attributed to a desire to remain-injury free ahead of the biggest game of Liverpool’s season, if not of the last two seasons. It may not be admirable but it is certainly respectable.
A couple months ago with Liverpool adrift in the league positions once again it seemed as if another season would be seen out trophyless and without the promise of Champions League football for the next season. A win on Wednesday could provide both a trophy and football in Europe’s top tier in one fell swoop. For this reason most fans will be quick to forgive the Reds for the dismal display put on at Anfield last night. That is if Liverpool win the final, but I’m not entertaining thoughts that anything but victory for Klopp’s men will occur at St. Jakub Park.
Liverpool’s next game is away to West Bromwich Albion. Klopp will surely use the occasion to rest his best players for the final. I would personally love to see Sheyi Ojo be handed another start with youngster coming off the bench last night to provide the assist for Benteke to equalize. It was Ojo’s third assist in what has been a good first senior year for the youngster.
An impressive statistic to emerge from last night’s game is that with Benteke’s goal he became the 5th player in the side to reach 10 goals in all competitions for Liverpool. It demonstrates how the Reds have been able to perform so well this season. Strength in depth has been key when other sides have forwards contributing with more than 20 goals each.
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The Anfield unbeaten run of 13 games stretching from the 26th of January speaks of the effect Klopp has had on his players since taking over from Brendan Rodgers. The players that Klopp took into his hands were prone to mistakes and lacked fight. Anfield had become a ground where it was far too easy to score – for the hosts that is. Since Klopp’s arrival there has been tenacity to Liverpool’s play which has earned his team many a late goal.
Klopp will look to keep the fight in Liverpool going a little while longer so that with victory in the Europa League on Wednesday this summer transfer window and next season will seem a lot brighter. If any man is going to motivate Liverpool to do it, its my man, Jürgen.
Featured Image – This is Anfield