Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted on Friday that he knows how to beat Liverpool. It’s almost impossible to do, however.
“[How to beat them is] very simple – being mentally better than they are. And you know how difficult this is,” said Hasenhüttl on Friday, per Southampton’s official site. “Tactically also you have to be perfect, if you like. Even then, you are not sure if you can get something, but the goal must be to get the best performance possible.”
So there you have it – the secret to beating Liverpool. And he’s really not wrong, either, as the Reds have ground out result after result thanks to that mentality.
It has a two-fold effect. First, Liverpool believe they’ll win every game. Even if they’re losing with a couple of minutes remaining, they’ll still believe they can find the goals.
And lately, they always do.
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But it also has another effect and it’s on show in Hasenhuttl’s comments. Teams go to Anfield believing the same thing as Liverpool – that the Reds will find a way to win.
That’s incredibly powerful. It means that even if Liverpool aren’t at their best mentally, the other team will still assume that they are. They’ll still worry in those final few minutes, they’ll still doubt their own ability to break the Reds wall down.
We used to see the opposite with Liverpool all the time. No lead felt safe, no defence felt easily penetrable. They’ve completely reversed things and, as we see with Hasenhuttl, teams face Liverpool doubting their own ability to even beat them mentally. It doesn’t even come down to skill.
Liverpool might get it wrong tactically. Their opposition might get it very right. But those doubts that Liverpool create without even taking to the pitch are what make them nigh-on impossible to beat right now.
How, after all, do you show more belief than a side that looks unstoppable?