Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2-1 over the weekend. The win maintained the Reds eight point lead at the top of the table. Whilst it was a scrappy and hard fought victory, there were a number of positives to take from the performance. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showed against Crystal Palace just what Liverpool have been missing this season.
When the Premier League started in August, the Reds were getting results. The results kept on coming. In fact, Jürgen Klopp’s men didn’t drop a single point until a controversial draw with Manchester United in October. Throughout this successful period there was one thing missing for Liverpool: a creative spark in midfield.
Oxlade-Chamberlain showed against Crystal Palace that he has the creative spark that the Reds were craving. The returning midfielder was consistently finding himself in dangerous positions in the opposition’s final third and was always threatening in possession.
Jürgen Klopp has been desperate to see some ingenuity from his side, we can’t always rely on Roberto Firmino to pull something special out of his locker. The Ox was regularly playing first time passes and pulling off fancy flicks in advanced positions. This quickening of the pace around the opposition box is exactly what we have needed this season, particularly against sides that defend deep and compact.
With Oxlade-Chamberlain often baffling Crystal Palace with his rapid exchanges with his teammates, we can rest assured that our stagnant approach play is going to be a thing of the past. The Ox could be crucial to the rest of the season, if he can keep fit and get regular minutes on the pitch then he could be the key to unlocking resolute defences.