Liverpool took all the spoils at the Bet365 Stadium on Wednesday evening, winning 3-0 against Stoke City.
Here are the observations from the match.
Another Mo Show
I really am becoming a broken record now…
When Mohamed Salah stepped onto the pitch in the second-half, Liverpool were struggling to contend with the increasing pressure of the home side. Their physicality in midfield and desire to win the second-ball put Klopp’s team up against it, but the Egyptian’s introduction turned the tie on its head.
His movement and guile proved far too much for the Stoke defence to handle, adding a further two goals to an already impressive flurry of goals this season. Salah’s tally now sits at 17 goals for the season and we’ve not even hit December yet. His volleyed goal against The Potters is arguably the pick of the bunch, adapting well to connect sweetly with the ball and fire it into the net. Tonight was another indication of just how crucial the forward has become to Klopp’s side in such a short space of time.
Joe Gomez has a bright future ahead of him
Building on a solid display at the weekend, Joe Gomez stood out once again in the Liverpool defence. He showed good determination to deal with the physical presence of Choupo-Moting while getting forward well in support of the attack, pulling the ball back in the build-up to the opening goal.
It remains to be seen where Klopp sees his long-term future at the club but the former-Charlton man is doing himself no harm putting in performances like that against a very physical and aerially strong side.
Mignolet causes some serious nerves
Mignolet really got away with one on Wednesday night, somehow avoiding a red card after colliding with Mame Biram Diouf just outside the area. That would’ve seen the night shape up in a very different way and the Belgian’s hot-headedness will no-doubt serve as a cause of concern for his manager.
That being said, the Belgian did produce some good moments. Showing good authority to come out and punch from set pieces, Mignolet commanded his box far more than we’ve seen him do in prior games. He’ll be the most relieved man on the pitch tonight.
Andy Robertson: The mystery continues
The Reds were always expected to ring the changes for this game, having played 4 times in the last 11 days, and it seemed as perfect time as any for young Andrew Robertson to get the nod at left-back and give Alberto Moreno a rest. That proved not to be the case, however, with the Spaniard continuing at the back at the Scots expense. That’s only added further mystery as to why we’ve seen so little of the former-Hull defender since the start of the season, with a decent showing in pre-season providing a lot of promise for his first year on Merseyside.
It must be an issue of tactics for Klopp, with Robertson still needing time to adapt to a new club and new teammates, but it’s become a stranger scenario by the game. God knows what he has to do to get a game.