Liverpool’s 4-3 win v RB Salzburg was what they needed after beating Sheffield United at the weekend.
The Reds squeezed past the Blades at the weekend. Despite having chances aplenty, it took Dean Henderson bundling it into his own net to decide the game.
Simply put, Liverpool only just survived on their defence. While that can be a good thing, it can also lead to complacency.
And we saw that complacency on Wednesday as Liverpool won 4-3. Jurgen Klopp’s side raced into a 3-0 lead inside 40 minutes but things were level at the hour mark.
That, quite simply, is terrible. Gaps suddenly started appearing once Liverpool had their lead. Salzburg could get in behind with some regularity and they were creating chances.
Once they took them, Salzburg undid all of Liverpool’s work going forward in just 20 minutes of football.
It’s easy to see why the Reds may have shut off against Salzburg after the Sheffield United game. They’d demonstrated to themselves and everyone else that they can defend even when playing badly – and here they were playing well.
And they’d done all the difficult work, hadn’t they? How likely was it that Salzburg would score three times against this defence?
Liverpool got a wakeup call. There’s no room for complacency and no room for relying on the defence in that way.
But in the end they got exactly what they needed – a wakeup call and three valuable points.