Liverpool put in another drab performance at Huddersfield, continuing their positive start with a 1-0 win but failing to showcase any of the frenetic transitional play that had them on everyone’s lips last season.
Here are the observations from the match.
Salah makes his mark
Despite claims that he’s had a bad season, Salah showed his class at the weekend, guiding a lovely driven shot into the far corner to give Liverpool all the spoils against the Terriers. Of course, this wasn’t a vintage performance from the Egyptian, but getting his name back onto the scoresheet after returning from international duty will do his confidence the world of good. Shaqiri’s involvement in the No.10 role seemed to bring more out of him and with his present movement and vision, there are clear signs that despite a sluggish start, Salah can still hit the heights and deliver another integral season as Liverpool strive to win the title.
Positive debut for Fabinho
The Brazilian made his highly anticipated Premier League bow, coming on in the 69th minute for Adam Lallana. Albeit a brief cameo, Fabinho’s positive play in possession will give Klopp confidence for future games when rotation may be required, enabling the midfield picture to adapt to the specific opposition in an attempt to retain momentum. His ability to hold up play and provide a blanket to the back four will be a crucial tool in the title run, giving Liverpool additional strength at the back in their hopes of seeing out narrow wins.
It remains to be seen whether Fabinho will now get a run of games in the side, but his positive contribution will give fans confidence for the months ahead.
Liverpool must improve
Starting a relatively easy run of fixtures on paper, this was supposed to be a routine win for The Reds. However, credit must be given to Huddersfield for coming out all guns blazing, taking the game to the away side and trying to go toe to toe with Klopp’s men. The overriding feeling will be one of frustration from Liverpool’s camp; had this been against a higher calibre of opposition, it would’ve been a very different end result for a team who continued their struggle of replicating last season’s form. Defence, midfield and attack all have huge room for improvement and while it’s great to see Liverpool seeing our undeserved victories, you can’t help feel that they will eventually be caught out. Klopp must find a way to improve his team amid the current injury woes.
A positive league position
For all their indecision in the final third and lack of creativity and guile in midfield, Liverpool find themselves perched at the top of the Premier League and in a healthy position as they look to close the gap on Manchester City. Salah is now back in the goals which will hopefully provide him with much-needed confidence while Shaqiri’s impressive performance in midfield offers Klopp a creative option while Keita is sidelined. For all the frustrations, it’s hard to complain when Liverpool are in such a good position at this stage of the season. We roll on.