Anfield, Liverpool – The Kop screaming, Klopp cheering, and opposition defenders being left in the dust. It was a breathtaking display of everything you would expect from a team managed by Jurgen Klopp; the gegenpress was in full effect and Arsenal simply could not live with it. Liverpool were ahead after nine minutes thanks to a goal from Roberto Firmino and to most spectators, the game was wrapped up right then and there. It truly was a remarkable performance from Liverpool, they made Arsenal appear as though they were facing a team of a different caliber: one of quality, precision, and passion. However due to what we have already seen in this turbulent season so far, Liverpool must take this performance with a pinch of salt.
Coming off the back of a humiliating defeat at the hands of relegation threatened Leicester City on Monday night, you would be excused for thinking there’s a secret stash of Roberto Firmino, and Emre Can clones hidden somewhere in Melwood. Football is a very funny game, Liverpool fans all around the globe will have been celebrating their side’s very impressive victory over one of their main rivals on Saturday evening. However, they can be forgiven for feeling a little dry in the throat when reminded that their side’s next fixture comes at home to Burnley. “Home to Burnley? You’re mad! Did you not just see them toss Arsenal aside?” Yes, if this was any other season I would agree, but not this season; and if it was any other club I would agree, but not with Liverpool. Let’s not forget that it was in fact Sean Dyche’s men who handed the Reds their first defeat of the campaign, and the slightly ominous fact is that it directly followed a very impressive 4-3 victory away at the Emirates for Liverpool. Klopp’s men have lost five matches in league play this season: Burnley, Bournemouth, Swansea, Hull, and Leicester have all gotten the better of them. They love playing the big boys, but there is just something about lowly opposition that seems to be their undoing.
There is no need to spoil the party however, Klopp commented in his pre-match press conference when asked about his side’s glaring inconsistencies, that he is “not a clown” and rightly so. A manager of his caliber undoubtedly has noticed the same counter-intuitive performances that media and fans alike have picked up on. And you almost get the feeling that he was powerless to change anyone’s perception of his team until they came up against a bottom half side again. How else was he to break the “curse”, lose to Arsenal to prove that Liverpool don’t just show up in the “big” games? Given the circumstances, there was only one result that could have appeased Liverpool supporters and brought some relief back to the red half of Merseyside. Klopp’s men put in the best possible performance that Liverpool could have hoped for, and Arsenal were the unfortunate recipients of his wrath. The euphoria of such a scintillating display will likely linger in the fondest parts of the brain for anyone related to Liverpool football club for the next couple of days; but to make sure that the men in red do not repeat mistakes that have been a trademark of their season so far, they must make sure that this terrific win becomes the kick start for the rest of their season, and not the climax. They need to show a ruthlessness against teams looking up at them in the table that they haven’t shown too often this season. And who better to showcase this new ruthlessness against than the team that began this whole love affair, next Sunday afternoon Burnley Football Club will come to Anfield; and eyes from all around the league will be watching to see which Liverpool turns up.