The Champions had their first game since their massive party and well Liverpool were truly humbled. Some expected it some did not, but every Manchester City Liverpool game is unpredictable whatever the circumstances. So, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his squad will be looking to bounce back and show why they are Premier League Champions.
It was overall a poor showing from Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. The first 25 minutes showed promise from Liverpool as Salah made Ederson make an impressive save and the Egyptian also hit the post. But once the penalty was given and scored Liverpool fell apart hence why Klopp said in the press conference for the Aston Villa game ‘this is where we change things’
Klopp was referring to the training sessions at Melwood as the squad will be attempting to learn from the mistakes that were made on Thursday night. The German was short and snappy with his answers to the questions in his post-match interview showing that he was far from pleased. Therefore, he will be wanting to see a reaction unfortunately for Aston Villa.
Aston Villa find themselves in a diabolical situation having spent so much money in the summer and then even managing to sign reinforcements in January, yet they are still in the relegation zone. Every game for them will have to be played like a cup final. Since the restart they have only picked up one point so Aston Villa manager Dean Smith will be dreading coming up against a Liverpool side looking to rectify their mistakes.
In the reverse fixture at a packed Villa Park Dean Smith nearly pulled off the scalp of the season as his side were winning 1-0 up until the 87th minute. That is when Liverpool showed that they will do anything to become Champions. Mane’s cross to Robertson made it 1-1. The celebration to that late equaliser was so significant. Instead of soaking in the mental Liverpool away end Robertson sprinted back and made sure someone got the ball out the net so the game could resume as quickly as possible.
It showcased the elite mentality that Klopp has installed into the club from top to bottom. The winner came late in stoppage time through Mane throwing is head with all the boots from a corner. It was eight minutes that shaped Liverpool’s season and it was the biggest indication that they would go on and become Champions.
Now Aston Villa travel to Anfield the home of the Champions knowing that it was their fault why Liverpool felt like the title was theirs to lose. They will want revenge for such a painful defeat but there is a big difference between wanting something and doing something. Throughout the season Aston Villa have not shown the quality that is required to stay in the division. Due to this the game at Anfield will feel even more difficult for them as their morale and mentality will not be at the highest.
Henderson and Co will look to feed off that and with no new injury concerns Klopp will have a decision to make after a dismal performance from his strongest line-up against Manchester City. Also, with the games being very close together there could be some rotation so that means the likes of Lovren, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino and Origi may get a chance to start and impress.
However Klopp insisted that ‘We don’t give PL games as Christmas presents’ but he was more referring to the likes of Neco Williams, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott. The youngsters who will be eager may have a chance but there is still a chance for many records to be broken including an impressive points record. Meaning that there every game is important.
It will be interesting to see but it should be straight forward for Liverpool but then again when is it ever straightforward for Liverpool. Stay home have a drink and enjoy Liverpool playing their first game at Anfield as Premier League Champions.
Written by Elliot Thompson