Liverpool ensured the pressure remained firmly on Manchester City with a crucial 2-0 win against Cardiff City on Easter Sunday, a result that saw Jurgen Klopp’s side return to top-spot.
Goals from Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner were enough to do the business after a frustrating first-half called for patience, with attentions now fixed on Huddersfield as Pep Guardiola’s side go to Old Trafford.
Relentless Reds Return To Top
For weeks now, Liverpool have been expected to buckle under the pressure of the title race. Without the experience or know-how of their rivals, a tail-off was certain to give Manchester City the required breathing room they needed to surge to their second successive domestic title. Such nerves have failed to surface, with the Reds maintaining their composure after a frustrating first-half to deliver their latest message to Manchester.
The last few games have required a more patient approach, understanding the requirements of each fixture and potential ramifications of any wrong moves but such pressure hasn’t come as a notable weight on anyone’s shoulders. Instead, this was a perfect advertisement of the new found pragmatic Klopp has instilled; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane would all miss chances before Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener set the team on their way and there was rarely a sense that the contest would go any other way.
City’s clash with Tottenham failed to give fans the slip-up many have been longing for but Liverpool’s continual answers to their threat mean Guardiola will be acutely aware that one small blip could prove fatal.
Record Points Tally A Mark Of What’s To Come
A win in Wales saw Liverpool move to 88 points for the season, amassing their highest points tally in the Premier League era – two more than Rafael Benitez’s squad managed in 2008/09 when they finished runners-up to Manchester United.
While it remains to be seen if a phenomenal campaign will be enough to take them to the promise land, the outcome almost serves as a secondary phenomenon in a wider scheme. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have made huge strides over the past few years, evolving from a team riddled with deadwood to one primed for success for the foreseeable future.
Any other year and they’d be streets ahead of the pack but such is the record-breaking nature of Manchester City’s squad that they’re locked in a battle they may yet win or lose. Should it be the latter, there will be an overriding sense of hope and belief that this team can go on to challenge, and win, silverware. The feats they have achieved will not be brushed over.
Alisson Delivers Another Big Moment
For all of Liverpool’s dominance, it could well have been a different story in Wales. It’s a mark of a truly world-class goalkeeper when they’re not called into action for the majority of the game but react expertly on the one occasion they are. Alisson did just that, superbly tipping the ball over the bar from Oumar Niasse’s effort to ensure the hosts didn’t take an unlikely lead.
Recording his nineteenth clean sheet of the Premier League season, the No.1 has made a monumental difference since coming to Anfield and such big moments are no doubt underpinning the club’s successes. Indeed, there is a real sense of trust and calm to a back-four previously littered with nervousness and individual errors.