Peter talks to Roopa Vyas about Liverpool`s season so far
Can you give us a short recap of the Watford game?
It was a wonderful reaction to the previous defeat at Old Trafford, as expected from this side. Three points was all we were looking for and we came away with a Mo Salah masterclass and another no-look goal from Bobby – can’t get much better than that! Add on the clean sheet, the atmosphere and a great all-round performance, it was a great evening at Anfield as the snow lashed down. Liverpool are still unbeaten at Anfield in the Premier League as well and I’m hoping they keep that going in their final few home games. The Reds are back in third and are now seven points clear of Chelsea who are fifth – a healthy position to be in as the season nears the end and a long way off the season opener where a last-minute equaliser for Watford spoiled the party.
Salah gets all the plaudits for his 4 goals and rightfully so but who else impressed you in this game?
Salah definitely stole the show, but it was a great team performance. At times sloppy but they held it together and saw the game through. Firmino impressed me, but he always does. His goal demonstrated his combination of hard work and excellent technique. He also defends and his work rate is superb. Andy Robertson was another who impressed me on the night. Defending and attacking – both calm and effective. He even got the assist for Salah’s second goal which a brilliant cross and it’s great to see Liverpool with a proper left-back at long last! He’s also a great man off the pitch and I’m sure he’s a fan favourite now.
Can you give us a short review of the season so far?
My emotions this season have been all over the place. August was a pretty good start to the season for Liverpool having secured their place in the Champions League group stages and hammering Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield. I feel like this took a big step back after that. The 5-0 defeat to Manchester City, draws in the Champions League and flying out of the League Cup in the space of one month – it was a lot to take. After that, however, Liverpool have done alright for themselves. Forgetting about the loss at Wembley as that was the kick the team needed, Liverpool mustered up some great results both home and away in the league and in Europe. Bringing in Virgil van Dijk in January was a huge boost too.
Loads, including myself, were disappointed with being knocked out of the FA Cup in January but in hindsight I see it as a blessing in disguise. It allowed Liverpool to focus on the more important things – the Champions League and a top-four finish in the league, both of which are still on the cards. Had the Reds not dropped a few points here and there they would have certainly been above Manchester United.
Rate each players performance this season on a scale of 1-10 with a short reason for this?
Karius – 7 – Most people know I’m a fan of the German ‘keeper and I’m glad he’s began to prove himself this season. He’s proved a lot of people wrong and has earned that #1 spot.
Mignolet – 5 – Migs had his chance, when Klopp began the season with him as the first-choice between the sticks but he just couldn’t prove himself. Could see him leaving Merseyside this summer.
Moreno – 6 – Quite disappointed for him, he was improving until he was struck with an injury and then Robbo took over.
Robertson – 7 – FINALLY a quality left-back. He’s been consistent at the back and some of his passes have been brilliant.
Virgil van Dijk – 8 – Dream debut and he has shown his leadership qualities in the back four and his influence is rubbing off on others.
Matip – 5 – He’s decent on his day but I can’t see him being VVD’s partner at the back unless there’s injuries in the squad.
Lovren – 5 – He can make some horrendous mistakes and sulk, then come back and show that he could partner VVD at the back. A few games later he’ll make another game-changing mistake and go back to square one.
Klavan – 7 – That’s generous. He’s there to be called upon but that’s it. The 7 is literally for that Burnley winner.
Gomez – 6 – A young player who has done well to come back from his injury that saw him on the sidelines for a prolonged period. Bags of potential.
Alexander-Arnold – 7 – 19 and a first-team player. He has struggled at times but he’s still young and has loads to learn. Still not over his free-kick against Hoffenheim.
Milner – 7 – Utility man. Can (almost) always rely on him.
Wijnaldum – 6 – Not consistent enough but has his moments.
Henderson – 5 – I haven’t got an agenda against this man like many, but he’s not influential on the pitch.
Can – 5 – At times a brilliant midfielder but he’s halfway out the door and if rumours are true and he wants to be paid 200k a week, he can leave! Not worth that much at all.
Lallana – 4 – hasn’t had enough chances since he came back from injury but he’s been decent.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6 – Once he’d settled he’s had a decent season. Bet he’s glad he left Arsenal and he’s fit into our squad quite nicely.
Firmino – 9 – Crucial to this team and Salah wouldn’t be as good without him. Where’s his lifetime contract?!
Salah – 10 – Do I need to explain this? The Premier League’s top goalscorer. Messi 2.0. The Egyptian King. My hero, my mate.
Ings – 4 – He was great when he came on against Watford, good impact sub.
Solanke – 3 – Still needs more chances but I’m not sure when that will come.
What is your predicted line-up for the Crystal Palace game with the CL game on the horizon?
As important as three points are at Selhurst Park, I think Klopp will have to rotate with the Champions League fixture in mind, but we all know he doesn’t always do that. Hopefully he’ll take some players off once the game is won.
My XI: Karius; TAA, Matip, VVD, Robertson; Henderson, Can, Ox; Mané, Firmino, Salah.
Score prediction v Palace and why please?
Selhurst Park is never easy for us but I think we’ll win. I’ll go for a 3-1 win for Liverpool, the usual Salah goal is guaranteed. We’re in a healthy position at the moment and a win would be great ahead of Chelsea v Spurs.