NOT dissimilar to the aftermath of Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 4, what’s really important here is that 5-0 home wins don’t feel mundane. Shouldn’t feel mundane. Not now, not ever. To put it in context, in the whole of the 2006-7 season only once did Anfield see a side score more than four goals. That was Arsenal scoring six against us in the League Cup.
There will be those whose immediate reaction to the above will be defensive, will point out that that season Liverpool reached a Champions League final. They’d be right to do so; in the end outlandish European success was also deemed mundane and — to some — boring. That was ridiculous and wrong.
But so too is shrugging shoulders after another side has been decimated by Liverpool. So too is acting as though we get this all the time. We haven’t and we don’t. Barring Rodgers’s 2013-14 side this is a Liverpool rarity this decade and arguably in the one that proceeds it. Liverpool supporters have been used to winning well and winning comfortably but not like this, not with this regularity.
This Liverpool side has now scored 75 goals in this 2017-18 season in all competitions and it has one more game before 2017 flips into 2018. It shows no signs of letting up. It’s a team built to score. It will score any goal you like — the breakdown, the breakaway, the tap in, the effort from distance. The ball can be thundered or placed beyond the ‘keeper. You name a type of goal and it looks like they will score it, apart from, just maybe, the key goal.
However this side shouldn’t have needed that many key goals as it slaloms through the season to this stage. I mean, that’s sort of how key goals work. They aren’t a constant. You have them in key moments and key moments usually come in the second half of the campaign. All this is about positioning. It’s why the lack of one against Arsenal hurt and why the sudden need for one hurt even more. That would have been a key moment had the goal been snaffled.
Today the side stuck so firmly at second best in the country drew at home and the task ahead of every team with ambitions of finishing in the top four became clearer still. The league leaders don’t need many more — if any — key goals either. But the rest of us all will. We’ll all need them as right now we are all positioning ourselves for the struggle to come.
No side is doing it with greater aplomb, greater elan than Liverpool. Liverpool can be a joy, a riot, an absolute delight. Today they were all the above even while not being very good for significant sections of the game.
Roberto Firmino bags a number nine on toast brace meaning he has four in the last three. Philippe Coutinho is the absolute business — he has more hips than any other footballer alive. They never stop jinking and shifting. He plays on the quarter turn, the seven-eighths turn. He’s a hexagon against an opposition of squares, a footballer able to shift through dimensions in the way some players manage gears.
Trent Alexander-Arnold blammed it in, giving it the two-thirds Yeboah, a slab of Flanagan. His celebration as good as his finish. All arms and glee and open mouthed because being brilliant is one thing but being brilliant having come through the ranks has he has is something else. His whole performance marvellous — he was better than any Swansea player bar maybe Roque Mesa — and capped by that blinder.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks snug as a bug in a rug in this Liverpool shirt now. His finish was calm personified. He wanted a goal and he got it. Across the park Liverpool ran the show, a Boxing Day treat for Kopites. Let’s see it as such. Five home goals — last season in the 2017 part of 2016-17 we never managed that once either.
My point is this — come and adore them. And adore them. And adore them. Often there has been bits and pieces to damn them with, but today, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, do it with adoration, adore the thing. These lads are a treat. Let’s not be spoiled by Christmas excess and consider it just what happens, just what good sides do. Bar the lads in sky blue doing everyone’s head in, I don’t see anyone else doing it, not like this.
Well in, Liverpool. See you Saturday. See you Monday. It doesn’t let up. Let’s get in position. Let’s be ready for some key goals. Let’s be adorable. Let’s be adoring.