Since Jurgen Klopp took over as Liverpool’s head coach, a sense of optimism was installed in the fans, players and everyone associated with the club and it was visible in some of the performances. The players showed glimpses of what they can achieve under Klopp. Klopp has brought the ambition back to Anfield and the title challenge and European glory are no longer a distant dream. Last season, there were a few performances, which if produced on a regular basis could make Liverpool credible title challengers. Here we discuss three matches in which Liverpool gave a master class performance under Klopp.
Manchester City vs Liverpool (1-4)
This match set the standards very high for Jurgen Klopp. It was an away fixture and beating Manchester City at their home is a big thing. Liverpool tore apart City’s defense. The high pressing game that Liverpool had adopted was causing all sorts of troubles for City’s defenders. Coutinho and Firmino were exceptional and were involved in 3 goals of the 4. Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Milner and Can put up a perfect display of the Gegenpressing. Although the first goal was an own goal, Coutinho and Firmino’s quick one touch passing had set it up. For the second one, Firmino set up Coutinho with a perfect through ball and it was an easy tap in. Firmino scored the third as Coutinho returned the favour by providing the assist. After the break, Aguero scored City’s only goal and Skrtel restored Liverpool’s 3 goal advantage with a thunderous volley in the final minutes of the game. It could have been even worse for City had it not been for Joe Hart. It was surely the best game of Liverpool’s season.
Liverpool vs Borussia Dortmund, Europa League quarter-final 2nd leg (4-3)
This match was the highlight of Liverpool’s season and will be remembered for generations to come for the players’ spirit. The atmosphere at Anfield was special and it reminded everyone of Liverpool’s Champions League final against AC Milan. The first leg was a 1-1 draw and Liverpool had the advantage of an away goal. But Dortmund scored 2 goals in the first nine minutes and the away goal advantage gone. Now Liverpool had to score at least 3 times without conceding if they wanted to qualify. After the break, Divock Origi gave Liverpool a faint glimmer of hope as he reduced Dortmund’s advantage to 1 goal. But Marco Reus scored Dortmund’s 3rd and Liverpool’s Europa League campaign seemed to have come to an end. With 25 minutes left, Coutinho scored Liverpool’s second and Sakho added a 3rd for Liverpool. In the stoppage time, Dejan Lovren jumped higher than any other player in Dortmund’s box and connected to Milner’s cross. That was it! Liverpool made one of the most dramatic comebacks in the club’s history. This match will be remembered especially for the outstanding atmosphere at Anfield.
Liverpool vs Villarreal, Europa League semi-final 2nd leg (3-0)
Anfield witnessed another sparkling European night when Liverpool took on Villarreal in the 2nd leg of the Europa League semi-final. Liverpool lost the 1st leg 1-0 after Villarreal scored a late goal. Liverpool were under pressure but they overcame the first leg deficit, thanks to Bruno Soriano’s early own goal. Daniel Sturridge scored Liverpool’s 2nd after some excellent work by Roberto Firmino. Firmino was exceptional throughout the match and was highly influential. Adam Lallana then made hammered the final nail in Villarreal’s coffin with a 3rd goal. Liverpool were excellent in all the aspects of the game. While attacking, Liverpool were excellent as Firmino was the main man. Defensively too, Liverpool did not look vulnerable and was surely one of the best performances of the season.