Liverpool have gone to the Riverside and won by 0-3 against a solid Middlesbrough side.
Prior to the game the manager made a big decision in selecting Simon Mignolet in goal for Liverpool, along with not starting Joel Matip due to injury. The Reds were imperious second half, resulting in Adam Lallana getting a brace, Origi the other and Liverpool being downright unplayable at times.
With Neil Atkinson to discuss Liverpool’s victory in a Middlesbrough hotel room are Mike Nevin, Steve Graves, Rob Gutmann and Paul Senior.
All aspects of the game are discussed; the strength of The Reds and their solidity along with their attacking prowess.
It’s our immediate post match reaction. It’s The Pink.
Wow, we needed that on so many levels. 3 points, played well, clean sheet.
Neil has already made the point I took from it. On our mates forum were messaging all through the game and the midfield was getting a bit of flack at half time. What does Gini do? Henderson won’t go forward. Firmino’s missing his mate. Just general frustration. We weren’t too bad but something felt lacking compared to what we’re used to. I made my usual point about Origi being a bit static at the head of the forwards and how we always see this from our midfield in that situation. It led to ridicule and these are professional footballers etc. A minute after half time I told them this half was gonna be completely different as Klopp had put Origi on the left. 30 seconds later I said, sorry he’s on the right and a minute after that oh no, he’s in the centre. It soon became apparent the front 3 were just doing what they wanted. I told them the half was gonna be like what we’ve come to expect this season and it was. It’s what was missing v West Ham and even Bournemouth. For some reason that movement seems to help this notion of defending from the front too. Boro didn’t get a kick.
I was debating on Twitter this week and there was a claim that dropping Karius would destroy him. I absolutely disagree. I wouldn’t be surprised if Klopp’s aim was to protect Karius tonight. What if he’d made a howler and it cost us the game. What about if it happened again next Monday. He’d be getting shit through the letterbox. It could even spell the end of his career. Going a bit far perhaps but the fervour was at boiling point. He needed protecting (from himself). There was very little to gain tonight but a lot to lose. I’m made up he was dropped. As it is, he’s had a few poor games but it’ll blow over and going forward he’ll get on with his career.
We may see more of Mignolet than we’d expected but another point I made was if there’s revisionism about Mignolet suddenly becoming this great keeper then it was also working the other way. He’s shown signs of improvement on crosses and primarily when to come and punch yet listening to people you’d think we had tattoo from fantasy island on the bench. He’s not that bad. We’ll be reminded over the coming weeks why we all want a better option but it would have been neglect to throw Karius into the fire tonight. The decision to drop him won’t destroy him it. It’ll save him, which seems slightly ironic.
Being obsessed by centre halfs I wouldn’t say Klavan did well tonight but he certainly didn’t put a foot wrong and looks very comfortable on the ball. I think I case could be made to have a look at him and Matip. Seems a mystery to me how he seems to have dropped so far down the pecking order. Has he been late for a flight or does he mess around in training?
What a well structured piece lads, no fuckin ‘passengers’ in this team, mirroring The Reds earlier. Nearly as big a pleasure to listen to as they were to watch. Thanks lads!