Observer media reveled in Liverpool’s 6-1 away win over Leeds on Monday, with the Reds showing signs of finding their groove.
It was a night to cherish for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who ended a five-game winless streak and knocked out struggling opponents.
Cody Gakpo tapped home to put Liverpool ahead in the first half before Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota scored twice and Darwin Nunez also got involved.
Here’s how the media reacted to the Reds’ triumph as Klopp’s men ended their worries over relegation-threatened sides.
It was much more like Liverpool…
The Mail’s Ian Ladyman felt the performance boded well for the next season:
“Liverpool have been ruthless and clinical. In a season in which he played so unconvincingly, Jurgen Klopp’s side scored nine goals against Bournemouth, seven against Rangers and Manchester United and now six against Leeds.
“Unfortunately for them, all things in and around were of a slightly lower quality.
“Here we have seen what Liverpool are capable of, even if they give only a little hope for next season.”
Meanwhile, the Telegraph enjoyed an excellent display of Liverpool:
“Jurgen Klopp may have ruled out signing a Ferrari this summer, but here was a reminder of the powerful engines he already has in his garage.
His Liverpool side cruised to their first win in over a month and demoralized a Leeds side dogged by relegation fears.
“Last week, Klopp likened Jude Bellingham’s wish to a child asking for a sports car as a Christmas present given its price. “Without the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, his team can still be fast and look good. Here they used mistakes – and generous referees – to lead Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah while Trent Alexander-Arnold orchestrated the game .
The Independent’s Richard Jolly was delighted to see the Reds finally sending a lower-tier side away from home:
“It didn’t shock the magnitude of Leeds United’s October victory at Anfield, but a six-goal volley was a stark response to Liverpool’s recent weakness.
“Their habit was rather to finish the games in which they were favorites without scoring.
“Liverpool arrived at Elland Road in the odd situation of still awaiting a first away league goal against someone who is currently in the bottom half of the table.
“They rectified that with two goals in four minutes in the first half, four at regular intervals in the second in what was still only their second biggest away win of the season after 7-1 at Rangers. “
Liverpool Echo’s Paul Gorst hailed the professional nature of the Reds’ win:
“Rather than allowing Elland Road to create a cauldron atmosphere that Liverpool no longer enjoy, they have instead handled this delicate task with the kind of professionalism of a previous season under Jurgen Klopp. “They are unlikely to play against teams as poor as Leeds every week but this was impressive in its own right and despite all the problems that have engulfed Klopp’s side it was further proof that they can still wreak havoc like the wind. in their sails.
“Do it with Bournemouth and Manchester United at home and Rangers and Ajax away in the Champions League.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has received a lot of praise, as has Jota
The Mirror’s Nathan Ridley enjoyed watching Trent in his new right-back/midfield role:
“As they battled each other for the Premier League title for years, it seemed that Liverpool’s strength was very different from Manchester City’s.
But as the Reds look to return to the top of world football after a miserable campaign, Jurgen Klopp has begun to imitate one of Pep Guardiola’s tactical traits.
“Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of City’s game is how their full-backs are so adept at transitioning into a central midfield role and playing a key build-up role.
“Against Arsenal last weekend, Trent Alexander-Arnold did just that, and at Elland Road he was often seen joining Fabinho in the front line of Liverpool’s midfield and launching forward like an NFL quarterback.”
Ian Doyle of The Echo was also full of praise:
“Following an exciting comeback last weekend to earn a point at home to Arsenal, the Reds boss was left with the same starting eleven as Trent Alexander-Arnold returned to transforming into an inverted full-back encouraging him to move into midfield . “But there was a freedom to the Englishman’s game – aided by the intelligent moves of Curtis Jones and Jordan Henderson in midfield ahead of him – which must now be exploited, certainly for the remaining weeks of the season. He completed 124 successful passes, the maximum in a single match during his Liverpool career.
“He won’t be, as Klopp said earlier, suitable for every game. But while methods may change, the fact remains the same: unlocking Alexander-Arnold’s creativity is the key to success for this Liverpool team.”
This Is Anfield’s Mark Delgado praised Jota’s performance, despite a curiously below par start to the game:
“Half an hour after the match there is definitely one question: should Diogo Jota be on the pitch?
“Bad passes, bumping into players, inability to counter his goalscorers and no goal threat – Jota is miles away from his old predatory self, let alone one who could contribute significantly in an underperforming team. And then he steps up to score a crucial second goal and scores the third and fifth himself.
Jota covered quite a bit of ground after regaining possession, though the pass was poorly placed and heavily weighted: Salah’s sharpness transformed the assist, spinning and shooting in the first.
“However, there was nothing wrong or wrong with his conclusion, with a run and a first goal ending a goalless drought of more than a year – hopefully that can be a springboard to a better and more coherent.
“Diaz’s comeback will really push after a few rounds – but he certainly looks like a Klopp favourite.”
Is a placement in the top 4 still possible this season?
BBC Sport’s Phil Dawkes admitted Liverpool’s European hopes were low but suggested they will return in 2023/24:
“They fall far short of the remarkable consistency they have produced in many seasons under Klopp, but they retain a proven ability to be ruthless when caught off guard by weak opposition.
“Klopp’s side face their first result outside the top four in seven seasons and with Aston Villa and Brighton in excellent form above them, there is a very real possibility of not playing at all at all. European football for the first time since 2016/17.
“There’s still work to be done and there will inevitably be some signings this summer, but the reports of them missing may be a bit of a stretch.”
Finally, Delgado tried to shed some positive light on Liverpool’s hopes of an unlikely Champions League qualification:
“So it is the home of Nottingham Forest, a real match to be won and one to be won if we still have any hope of finishing in the top four.
“There’s no real reason why we shouldn’t, given Newcastle and Spurs’ defeats and poor performances over the weekend, but Brighton and Aston Villa are also in much better form now.
“Indeed, three points here don’t really lift Liverpool out of eighth place. All we can do now is keep winning, especially with four of our next five games at Anfield.
“The points are there to win and if we do that, we’ll move up that table. It may not be over yet.”
One transfer can solve the Trent Alexander-Arnold problem as Liverpool assembles its new-look squad.
Trent Alexander, a defender for LiverpoolArnold has faced criticism the entire season, but he is thriving in his novel new position. Should he maintain that stance going forward?
If there is one thing about Trent Alexander-Arnold that everyone can agree on, it is his skill as a football passer.
He has already achieved more success at the age of 24 than most players could ever hope for, playing in back-to-back Champions League finals and taking home a trophy before winning the Premier League.
He has practically all of the big winning medals available to him from Jürgen Klopp’s all-conquering Liverpool team, and he still has the best years of his career ahead of him.
But whenever people discuss the incredibly gifted right-back, the topic always comes back to his defensive shortcomings. Surely, no one has ever discussed Roberto Carlos in such a way?
Liverpool almost already owns Jude Bellingham, as Jürgen Klopp made clear in his transfer quest
After a half-hour against Leeds, Jamie Carragher selects a Liverpool player he “would have sold.”
This author cannot stay out of the discussion since for every brilliant cross or brilliant assist, there was a defensive blunder or a positioning mistake that led detractors, including yours truly, to focus on the less-noticed facets of his game. However, he is a weapon Liverpool cannot afford to be without with a record 13 assists in the 2019–20 season and 12 in two others.
The Reds have had a terrible season, and they have no desire to sugarcoat the fact. Massive victories over Manchester United, Bournemouth, and Leeds United this week cannot hide the fact that Liverpool is currently eighth in the Premier League, as it should be, and that has led to harsh criticism of Klopp’s defense.
Given that the team has allowed 36 goals so far this season while only allowing 26 for the whole previous campaign, it is obvious that something has to give. Although Calvin Ramsay’s injury and James Milner’s limited usage at right back mean that Alexander-Arnold has no real competition for the position, there was an obvious desire to extract more from the Reds’ incredibly talented full-back.
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Klopp has experimented with something a little different in recent games. Alexander-Arnold has essentially been playing in midfield when in possession even if, on paper, he is still a right-back. The outcome has been, to put it mildly, fascinating. Three of the five Premier League assists the England international has received this season have come in his last two games.
Good news for Liverpool and maybe for Alexander-Arnold, and the fact that he has flourished in this odd capacity against clubs at the other end of the table implies that success in either was not an accident. But really, how long can one continue such a risk-taking performance?
There is nothing more thrilling for a defensive wide player than a venture up the pitch, as a seasoned member of the full-backs union at an amateur level, I can attest. If the opposition is taking advantage of the space you are leaving behind as you travel into the opposite side of the field, though, it won’t be long before astute teammates’ shouts will come back your way.
April 17, 2023, Elland Road.
And with Alexander-Arnold, that is unquestionably the problem. It won’t take many more games for opposing teams to figure out how to isolate him in his advanced position and exploit the chasm left behind, which, as Ibrahima Konaté’s terrible error for Leeds United’s goal on Monday night demonstrated, is an area that maybe shouldn’t be exposed too frequently.
While attempts to sign Jude Bellingham in the summer have failed, Klopp’s midfield problems might be solved with a straightforward reallocation of his current resources.
Alexander-Arnold can play in midfield if a right-back is signed, as many have suggested in the past, rather than spending millions on an unproven international.
In one interview, Klopp questioned why the best right-backs in the world would be placed in the middle of the field. The answer is that Liverpool shouldn’t stand still because nothing in football does.
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