Liverpool’s 3-1 triumph over West Ham United: Key talking points from Ian Doyle as brought to you by Newsnow Liverpool.
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Jurgen Klopp seems to have discovered a solution to Liverpool’s ongoing concerns in the defensive midfield position. Simply – don’t have one.
What’s the Latest About Alexis Mac Allister?
Alexis Mac Allister has been featured in nearly every Premier League game this season as the number six, although even the Argentine would acknowledge that it’s not his preferred position.
Consequently, this summer signing is adapting on the fly. While this marked his most impressive performance since joining Anfield, it also underscores the potential limitations of this approach.
Undoubtedly, the vision and precision of his pass, which led to Darwin Nunez scoring Liverpool’s crucial second goal, is one of the reasons behind the excitement surrounding Mac Allister’s pre-season displays.
Playing him further forward might result in more frequent contributions of this kind. However, Jurgen Klopp currently faces limitations with Wataru Endo, who only saw a few minutes of play, and teenager Stefan Bajcetic, who isn’t quite ready for consistent starts.
There are alternative solutions, such as the effective partnership of Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones as a double six in the second half against Wolves last weekend. However, this would disrupt the natural style of these two players.
Therefore, Mac Allister seems set to continue in the foreseeable future. Anfield has now caught a glimpse of what they can anticipate in the long run.
Matip and Gomez Step Up to the Challenge
It’s somewhat unusual to say this about a defensive duo with a combined 369 Liverpool appearances.
Nevertheless, the decision to field Joel Matip and Joe Gomez on the right side of the Reds’ defense was certainly intriguing, particularly against a West Ham side known for their physicality and speed on the counter.
Matip returned to the lineup, as Ibrahima Konate appeared not fully fit following a recent muscle issue, while Gomez once again filled in for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Both players received praise from Jurgen Klopp after the match. Matip, who had previously scored a match-winning goal against West Ham in April, handled Michail Antonio with confidence. Gomez embraced the inverted right-back role, displaying not only offensive prowess but also building confidence in his defensive contributions. The two were arguably contenders for the man-of-the-match award.
Virgil van Dijk, on the other hand, was perhaps surprised by Jarrod Bowen’s bold equalizer upon his return to Premier League action. However, he played a crucial role in neutralizing West Ham’s set-piece threat and even assisted Diogo Jota for the game-sealing third goal.
Mohamed Salah Helps Send Man City Message
One day, Mohamed Salah may score a goal that doesn’t involve breaking new records or matching the achievements of football legends.
But Liverpool certainly won’t mind as long as the Egyptian forward continues his impressive form. He recently netted from the penalty spot, extending his streak of either scoring or assisting in 12 consecutive Premier League games. This achievement places Salah in elite company, alongside names like Stan Collymore (1995), Jamie Vardy (2015), and his own record from 2021, where he fell just three short of his previous feat.
In addition, Salah has become only the fifth player in Premier League history to either score or assist a goal to his team’s first six games of the season, joining the ranks of David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Sergio Aguero, and Erling Haaland.
Liverpool have now scored three or more goals in each of their first three home games for only the second time in 43 years. The previous occasion was during their title-winning 2019/20 campaign.
While Manchester City remains a formidable opponent with six wins out of six, it’s possible that Pep Guardiola and his team are beginning to recognize that their primary competition this season may come from Anfield once again.