IT was a significantly weaker Liverpool 11 than expected.
It was a significantly stronger Liverpool performance than anticipated.
For 10 minutes the Reds were abject. For 80 minutes the Reds were majestic.
The Reds were mustard again.
The Reds are hungry. Not for them shrinking when a harsh light is shined upon them. No backward steps when under examination. Instead a confidence in themselves and in one another. A confidence in front of goal.
This is important. Daniel Sturridge could go without saying. He is always confident in front of goal and yet he is not alone. Each of his teammates were unerring, each of his teammates were certain.
There was, at Southampton, a certainty, an economy, a quality. Balls struck hard and low and irresistible. Away from home in front of goal there is a sea-change from the Reds.
Daniel Sturridge, though, should not go without saying. Centre forwards define football teams. The balls from both Allen and Can were marvellous but he demands them, a centre fireworks on the move, play it, play it, play it, play it.
It gets played. Sturridge’s first goal suggested rust insofar as a goal can. His second certainty. What can we do with 20 league starts of this. What can’t we do.
But not just Sturridge. Origi asking for three. Ibe taking his one. Lallana bright as a button, Can and Allen constant, keep keeping on. Leiva the Captain. Our old man of the sea.
Randall gets his start, our manager ringing the changes. Looked edgy for 20. Looked the business for 70. Nothing creates the business like goals, but the players still all need to respond.
What strikes me is that Southampton have no answers, they have not even the hint of an answer. Normally there is a flurry, and yet they couldn’t flurry; normally there is a surge, and yet they couldn’t surge. Instead they bent to our will. Because why wouldn’t you?
The manager makes his changes. One eye on what matters in the season, one eye on the league game at Newcastle on Sunday and Liverpool undress the seventh or eighth best side in the country. The Reds concede a daft early goal and shrug it off. Go brush that shoulder off. Get that dirt off your shoulder. What can’t we do?
What can’t we do? The Reds are mustard and you dare hold me back. The Reds are mustard and you should strap yourself in. The Reds are mustard.
The Hungry Reds.
The Certain Reds.
What can’t we do?
We can do Stoke.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo