After last night’s emphatic victory over Manchester City which saw the Reds fly into the semi finals of the Champions League fans will be forgiven for starting to believe that Klopp’s Red army could conquer Europe once again, however with so much focus being on our attack I’ve wanted to highlight the key factor that I think will carry Liverpool to a six European crown.
In the last few months Liverpool’s game management has been absolutely superb, take away the loss at Old Trafford, Liverpool have actually become very good at being able to see games out and do whatever it takes to get the win. Last night was the best example of a Liverpool team keeping their cool and not losing their heads in a hostile environment that I have seen for easily the last five years.
It would have been very easy for us just to crumble after City got that very early goal, and in fact I remember looking at the clock after just seven minutes and thinking this is going to be a long old night. That first half seem to take an eternity and it felt like Liverpool didn’t touch the ball at all and City were going to run riot.
However, when you take yourself out of the heat of the moment and start analyzing that first half you begin to realize City didn’t actually hurt us that much in that first 45 minutes, yes they hit the post and had a goal disallowed but apart from that they didn’t really land a glove on us. Liverpool were wasteful with the ball which is why City had so much possession, but let’s be honest can you actually remember Karius making a save, because I can’t.
This is where I feel Liverpool have improved so much these last few months. It was only in December that we threw away a 2-0 lead at Arsenal and a month before that we surrender a 3-0 advantage in Seville, this Liverpool team in recent years have crumbled under pressure when it really matters. But not now, now we are a team that can not only handle the pressure but can soak it up and hurt opponents on the counter attack. Last night wasn’t just a one off, we were able to do this in the first leg where let’s be honest City had the better of the first five minutes and we were just able to soak it up and explode on the counter attack. Even against Crystal Palace a few weeks ago, we went 1-0 down but didn’t panic and were able to stay cool and get back in the game, even against Leicester at Anfield a few months ago it was the same story, 1-0 down early on but didn’t panic and ended up turning it around.
I remember a few years ago, just after Klopp was appointed manager my friend Isy, who is a Man Utd fan, said to me that if Klopp can get your defence sorted this Liverpool team is going to be a real force. The fact is he was right, and we have now reached a point where that defence looks to be sorted Liverpool are now ready to become a force in Europe once again.
Personally I really do believe that this is our year to win the Champions League, I know Real Madrid may have something to say about that, but let them say whatever they have to, if it helps them sleep better at night. The fact is no one is going to want to play us, and after taking down the best team in Europe last night if as a fan you still can’t believe then there is seriously something wrong with you. I saw a flag on the Kop last week that I think summarises what every Liverpool fan should be feeling at this moment, it has a picture of Klopp’s face with the caption of “I saw his face and now I am a believer”, and I really do believe this is our year to conquer Europe again.
Article by Imraan Adam @imadam786
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