New Year’s Day, 2018. Turf Moore. This is where Liverpool went into the starting line-up for a Premier League game without Virgil van Dijk or Mohamed Salah.
Rugner Claven’s stop-time winner scored three points for Jurgen Klopp’s side against Burnley that day, but nothing too dramatic was needed to see Leicester.
Johnny Evans’ own goal put Liverpool ahead in the 21st minute and doubled the lead just before Diego Jotta’s header.
Brendan Rodgers There is no way back to Leicester. Roberto Firmino’s late title was a resounding success. This win elevates the dominant champions to second place in the table, only to beat Tottenham in first place with a goal difference.
It was a formidable match against the team that came in as Premier League leaders over the weekend, leaving the home side 100 per cent record this season. They beat Manchester City 5-2 at Etihad Stadium.
The way Jamie Verdi cut through Pep Cardiola’s team, with the experience of controlling the counter – attack at Liverpool’s Aston Villa even with their stars, raised the possibility of those rare events – a home defeat.
Instead, they easily negotiated a record-breaking night at Anfield, in which Liverpool extended their unbeaten home run to 64 league games. Whatever the order, the Champions are a reminder that they are the winning team this season.
The performance of the delegates illustrates that point.
Milner is loyal to the Globe
From the start, Leicester focused their attacks on Liverpool’s right side, with James Milner starting for the first time this season in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold. Sixty-six percent of attacks came from the other side with 14 percent from that side.
“They might try to take advantage of the fact that Liverpool have a temporary full-time background,” Jamie Carragher said. “But you can’t call him temporary because he holds every position.”
More than a job for Milner, he shone, constantly feeding upwards with balls measured forward. He helped create openings for Jotta, Sadio Mane and Nabi Geeta, as well as Evans pasting his own goalkeeper past corners and Firmino third.
“James Milner was brilliant,” Karagar said.
“His mastery is fantastic, and he still has the energy to go down.”
Under real pressure from James Justin and Harvey Barnes, Milner completed more touches in the first half, creating more chances and recapturing the ball several times more than any other player on the field. This is an interesting endeavor.
When Geeta went down with a muscle injury early in the second half, Milner moved into midfield and showed his versatility, with Neko Williams coming in on the right.
At 34, he is another reminder that he is an important asset.
Jota adds so much to the attack
Milner had the expectation that Jota would be useful in a similar way because he had the ability to cover different levels, so it has been proven. He has already filled this Premier League season for Mane, Roberto Firmino and now Salah.
But surprisingly, Jota has done more than just fill up. His goal against Leicester was the eighth season of the season in all competitions and the fourth in a row at Anfield, in which he found the net. The September signature is thriving.
“What a start he has made in his Liverpool career,” Karagar said. “It was always thought that the three men in front of Liverpool could not really get into it, but they definitely needed better backups. I think he’s making more than a backup of himself this time.”
Jota’s overall performance, the performance of a player with high confidence and quality, tested Caspar Schmidt with powerful efforts before and after his goal. Salah’s ability to cut from those right-handers was a major strength for Liverpool, but Jotta made a passable appearance and was very handsome and quick to deal with aging Christian Fuchs.
Depth provides motivation
As a result, Liverpool were able to shed light on their high losses. Without the high scorer from last season, the giver of their biggest goals and the center-back partnership that provided the platform for that success, they were able to facilitate victory against a team in the Premier League.
“Losing your two central backs for the entire season, not only in terms of this game, but also psychologically how J ஜூrgen Globe must have felt when he got his players back from the international break,” Karagar said. “A lot of people would have felt that Leicester might have got something here today. It feels like a huge success.”
The clean sheet will be satisfactory for the Globe after one run in six Premier League games as Fordinho and Joel Madip have excelled at tackling Ward’s excellent pace in which they have not been able to put out resistance. 19-year-old Curtis Jones, meanwhile, was only comfortable at the start of the third Premier League of his career in midfield.
It is unclear whether Liverpool will be able to cope with this growing injury list in the long run. The absence of Van Dijk is long overdue and, of course, Alexander-Arnold will miss more games before returning from a calf issue at Manchester City.
But Jota’s impact is that they don’t have to be the pinnacle of their confidence before they find Salah for a game or two. As they were, Liverpool cannot be expected to cope last season without him or Mane.
Now there is no guarantee that they will avoid a beat.
Post to Podcast: Is Jota Signing in the Summer?
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