ANDY Robertson. Andy, Andy, Andy, Andy Robertson.
What a performance from the Liverpool left back, one man who is the very best of us.
He does this thing second half when Liverpool are 2-0 up, when he is firmly man of the match, when he has set up Xherdan Shaqiri for his second, when there is nothing left to prove whatsoever: Fabinho overhits a pass into his path. Robertson could watch it go. Could leave it. But he kills himself to keep it in and turns it into a Liverpool throw. Fabinho apologises afterwards but he shouldn’t — at its best, this is what this Liverpool team does — dig each other out, work for each other.
In the run up to the second, Robertson sends a pass 60 yards to Trent Alexander-Arnold from a tight position. Minutes later he whips in for Shaqiri. Minutes later he should score, eliciting a smart save from Sergio Rico. It wasn’t simply an all-action performance, it was an all-round performance. The running matters but the decision making matters more. His was impeccable.
Robertson epitomises the graft and the brains that underpin this team. Today, in the second half especially, it was graft and brains that was on show from this team. Liverpool controlled the tempo and forced their game onto Fulham far better than they did against Huddersfield, Cardiff and Red Star. They were relentless in pursuit of the second and then probed constantly for the third, which never came but that didn’t matter. It was there in theory, in principle.
The opener showed brilliant presence of mind. From Virgil van Dijk telling Alisson, him springing Trent, Trent weighting his through ball like Michael Laudrup in his pomp and then Mo Salah being the quickest but also the coolest. Salah was low key terrific. He wants so much responsibility, if anything he is too eager to be a grown up but then he sucks you in and lays the most impudent backheel to James Milner. I live for the mischief.
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The finish for the second may go under the radar. It was brilliant from Shaqiri and deserved. He was prepared to lose the ball in both halves of the match when too many were conservative in the first 45 minutes. The manager wants them to be more direct and there are ways to do that — carrying the ball and probing. These are the ways and Shaqiri carried them out well. Try not to give them goalkicks — better to lose it 20 yards out and give them the problem of possession.
Though Fulham are a funny side who don’t quite see possession as a problem but can’t quite take it as an opportunity. Alexander Mitrovic does well throughout, though he should score. Ryan Sessegnon is good too. But they truly are a side who need to click.
Liverpool have their questions, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are both present in games but not quite influential enough, Gini Wijnaldum has had his performance eroded by the demands, Fabinho looks good with the game right in front of him, but around and beyond and behind looked tough as it so often does for a Liverpool midfielder.
But Liverpool won to go top. They won to be played 12, won nine, drawn three. They won well to set the bar for the day.
Twenty-six more hurdles. It goes mad in a fortnight, Reds. Explodes. We need to keep our nerve, need to keep our work rate up, need to stay smart.
We all need to be a bit Andy Robertson. Let’s channel him.
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Their ruled out goal was harsh. I’d be going nuts if that happened to us. However quick thinking by the Reds to then exploit it.
Still not at our best. Was scratching my head at Klopp playing Firmino as a 10 and Salah up top. Feel it better when Salah is cutting in from the right and Bobby is a false 9.
Andy was boss. Shaq is now a must on the team sheet. Gini was fairly anonymous and I felt again the Ref didn’t want to award us anything. See Salah, when their Lad grabbed hold of him on the edge of their box in the first half and pulled him back and the ref played on. In fact I got wound up by how they got free kicks for less than what the ref let go when done the opposite way. Also how is that NOT a red card when the guy goes 2 footed dive over the top of the ball, studs up on Salah. Suppose the only surprise was the ref actually awarding us this, as in recent weeks most of his colleagues would have awarded a FK against Salah and booked him for assaulting this guy’s studs with his exposed ankle.
I am happy we got the 3 points today, hard not to be. Top of the League as things stand, as the Chavs are still being held by the Bitters after 90 mins. We also got another clean sheet.
Also their lad, Ryan Sessegnon, I’d be happy to see him in a red shirt. Was impressed with him. Gace TAA the run around today.
Workmanlike performance again today done enough after being a little lucky first half. A more clinical team would have punished us. 2nd half once shaq scored was managed well and game killed off. Two things spring to mind though… Why have we suddenly started playing so many balls back to front ?? Where’s the movement gone ? Bobby looks a shadow of himself in his new position. Salah down the middlen isnt working at the moment.
Still.. 3 pts in the bag all that matters
Better to lose it 20 from goal…
Is why Shaqiri will play Fulham, Huddersfield and Cardiff but not Arsenal, City or Chelsea.
And maybe that’s why all three ended in draws?!
The absolute state of the atmosphere at Anfield. Seen this raised on rawk and getting the usual ultra-defensive response. Other clubs have early kick-offs and the atmosphere suffers – but it isn’t silent for long periods as it is at anfield. The locals are as bad as the oot’s and the oot’s are as bad as the locals. Yesterday was so very bad but it wasn’t that much worse than the majority – the vast majority – of our games. Even the big league games have been crap for a good while. We’re not ‘just like everywhere else these days’ – we’re worse. Most stadiums have a buzz, a hint that there are more than five people watching a game down the park. Anyway who thinks that players don’t respond to atmospheres one way or another needs to have a rethink. We’ve completely lost any type of noisy culture at anfield, and it’s been slipping away for a long time. For myself, and other lads and lasses I know who enjoy being part of an atmosphere, the enjoyment of going the match is seriously depleted by the eeriness of anfield. Is it any wonder most away supporters don’t stray too far from singing about our lack of noise when it’s so conspicuous – and so at odds with the cliched reputation that’s still lazily pedalled in much of the media. We need a rethink. We need to stop kidding ourselves (as many do) that players rather our organic (and largely silent) current environment than the ‘manufactured’ (and very loud) environment at grounds we’ve visited in ever years. We may not need a drummer, but some proactive steps to get some vocal supporters together should not be seen as beneath us. Because right now what we have is about as bad as it gets. Rant over. Ish
I can’t speak as a regular visitor to large stadiums (anfield or any other) but have to admit that watchin the game on tv yesterday I couldn’t help but notice how quiet it sounded. There is a flicker of sound during the build up of some decent play and a nice gentle applause for Shaq when leaving the pitch.. is that supposed to be a standing ovation?
It must be weird being in a stadium with 50 odd thousand people being so quiet and timid. Tbh I think I can have more fun in my living room or local pub cursing and shouting at the tv than sat in a massive stadium afraid to make noise for fear of standing out. Where’s the songs for the players? Salah got about 20 seconds after his goal but there are others. Sort it out match goers.. It’s a fucking library
I was lucky enough to go as a guest to League 1 game recently. Attendance was about 19000 and it wasn’t the top team in the league at home just to clarify that. The atmosphere from both sets of fans all throughout the entire game was fantastic. The home side lost yet their supporters sang all game and had a good repertoire of songs, some unique interesting ditties. The thing was the fans go to enjoy the occasion regardless and they make the experience, as what was served up on the pitch was far from the standard that we get to admire (or not as it would appear).
So agree, it is up to all our support to make all occasions fun and to be a real experience and not all being like shop dummies sat in the stands.
Anfield Library needs to playback past supporters’ chants over the loudspeakers so the dummies in the stadium can at least mime their support.
Football’s been a business and a lucrative tourist trap for many top clubs and will not end any time soon.
Just hope Klopp and the team keep winning.