Liverpool answered the big question over their mentality in the 2-2 draw with Everton. The Reds had a big question mark over them for two weeks.
When a team loses 7-2, you need to see a reaction. In fact, you need to see a big reaction. It would have been torturous for Jurgen Klopp, then, that he had to wait two weeks to see how his team reacted.
But he finally got to see it on Saturday. Despite a disappointing result, he’ll have loved what he saw.
Right off the bat, Liverpool looked sharp. They scored quickly and emphatically, working a great goal down the left that Everton couldn’t handle.
That’s exactly what Klopp will have wanted – his team were confident and quick. Those were the two big worries after the 7-2 mauling.
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It wasn’t long until the team faced adversity, though. Virgil van Dijk went off for the first time in years and Everton scored from a set-piece soon after. How would Liverpool react now things weren’t going their way?
The fact that the team took the lead again in the second half answered that one. Despite playing against a good side, Liverpool found a way to stay on top.
Everton would, of course, score again to make it 2-2 but Liverpool reacted to that, too. They scored a late ‘winner’, fighting to the end and forcing the ball into the net.
Yes, it was disallowed for offside but the team didn’t know that. Nor can you say that Sadio Mane gained any advantage by having his arm marginally too far behind him.
In terms of mentality, it was exactly what Klopp will have wanted to see – no matter the eventual outcome.
And that all bodes well for the months to come. Liverpool certainly still have problems – they’re conceding far too many goals – but the team still showed a will to win and a belief against adversity.
Van Dijk is now out for some time, too, and Liverpool will have to call on this mentality plenty more this season. But on this example, coming back from such a terrible defeat, the Reds are up for the fight.