Liverpool are the masters of the dark arts - by boring opponents to death
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Liverpool are the masters of the dark arts - by boring opponents to death

Whilst Liverpool may be transforming football and breaking records as we know it, yesterday’s victory at the London Stadium saw the Reds return to the dark arts of football.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 29: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool FC celebrate with hes team mate Jordan Henderson after scoring goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool FC at London Stadium on January 29, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp and co were able to meticulously construct a winning-formula that was inspired by simply passing a ball around until the other team get tired. Boring, yes, but effective is the word that first comes to mind when uncovering the German manager’s blueprints to success in the capital on Wednesday night.

It may not have been pretty as Liverpool eschewed their old cavalier attitude to pick apart a Hammers outfit that sits above the relegation zone only through goal difference. The European champions utilised the patient and frankly boring form of football that they have mastered in recent months as the Reds made it 15 consecutive league victories in the capital.

Liverpool have left behind their dogmatic, rambunctious and reckless style of play that was used as a motive to blow opponents out of the water in 30-minute bursts rather than adopt a more conservative method that provided longevity.

Despite the chaos and delirious fun that came from Liverpool’s 2018 Champions League campaign that saw them make it all the way to the final, the fact of the matter was that it wasn’t sustainable for long-term success.

Liverpool’s FIFA Coach of the Year Klopp has since transformed Liverpool into a team that can channel quite sterile football in order to grind out matches. This could cause distress amongst the manager and the fan base but when this approach has secured 97 points in the league from a possible 99 then there isn’t usually too many questioning their manager’s methods.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 19: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates his goal to make it 2-0 with Alisson Becker during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on January 19, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The opening month to 2020 is a glowing example of how Liverpool are able to control matches from start-to-finish at a pace that benefits only themselves. Against Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Wolves, and now West Ham, the Reds have administered a pedestrian pace for vast periods of the match.

This is indeed intended from Klopp who is able to purposely wait for an opening in the right moments. It’s no wonder that in four of their opening five matches this month Liverpool have found the net in both halves and are yet to score more than once in either the first or second period – their patience is just as much a virtue as their aggression in transition.

This latest triumph – Liverpool’s 15th consecutive league victory – see’s them edge up 70 points before January’s final hours are all-but through. To put this into perspective, it is more than double the number of points Manchester United have recorded in fifth. It is also 30 more than Chelsea who currently occupy that remaining Champions League spot.

Liverpool’s intensity and disrupting their skill on the ball for 90 minutes is nigh on impossible for any opponent in this league to live with, and so the team’s endurance, and waiting for the perfect moment to strike, have proven to be the coup de grace for all who have stood in their march to unprecedented glory.

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