After a disappointed reaction, Mohamed Salah’s risk pays off, but Liverpool is concerned following Sheffield United


Ian Doyle’s analysis following Liverpool’s Premier League matchup with Sheffield United

Klopp’s valor was rewarded.

The strength of Liverpool’s starting lineup for their match against struggling Sheffield United may have drawn criticism.

But in the end, Jurgen Klopp’s daring replacements and the bench earned this victory.

Not least of all was the choice to substitute Mohamed Salah, who had helped the Reds defeat Brighton the previous weekend, after just one hour of play. Salah wasn’t the least unproductive player for Liverpool by any means, but he wasn’t at his best either, and it was evident when he was substituted.

However, the Egyptian is still working his way back to full fitness after missing almost two months. Furthermore, the energy exhibited by the players that were added in the last 30 minutes demonstrated why Klopp’s team needs a deep roster to stay competitive.

Happy birthday, Harvey Elliott! He once again added zest to the Reds’ attack, first on the left and then the right, and Andy Robertson was outstanding in a cameo that saw him set up Cody Gakpo’s third goal, which he headed home after a few tough games.

Curtis Jones’s return to action was also a great plus because his poise and talent would be invaluable in the final few weeks. The timing of Liverpool’s rise in strength is perfect.

Nunez doesn’t make a sad song.

Any striker going through a slump would gladly welcome an effort from behind the scenes, cliche be damned.

Darwin Nunez is possibly the last player in the Premier League who needs any kind of assistance, even though he would easily accept the peculiar way he started the scoring here.

In fact, he has now contributed to 15 goals for Liverpool in all competitions (10 goals and five assists) during 2024, the most of any player in the top flight. This includes his goal in the 17th minute, when he charged down an Ivo Grbic clearance with the ball floating into the net off the striker’s back.

Nunez’s reward for the type of pushing that Klopp has instilled in his players throughout the course of his managerial career would have pleased him.

Even though not all of Liverpool’s strikers played the entire game, it was noteworthy that Nunez and Luis Diaz were still present when the final whistle blew, their unwavering effort acknowledged by the grateful Anfield audience.

And no Reds player has played in more Premier League games this season than the Colombian; the only top-flight match in which Diaz has missed time is the home game against Nottingham Forest, when he was granted compassionate leave after his father was abducted. He is Mr. Relentless from Liverpool.

Clean sheet issue

Jurgen Klopp dismissed the idea that Liverpool may boost their goal differential today evening with good reason prior to the game.

And if a little more attention to detail and finishing would not have hurt, the three points are all that matter at this time in the season.

There was no arguing with the result in the end, as Liverpool’s 83.1% possession share was the highest in the Premier League since these records were first kept some 21 years ago.
The only negative aspect was that they had lost 13 games in a row in all competitions at home without keeping a clean sheet, dating back to the goalless draw with Manchester United in December.

Conor Bradley’s tragic own goal was unavoidable, as Caoimhin Kelleher had already made two excellent saves against Jayden Bogle. During that extended period without a shutout at Anfield, the Reds have won 11 and drawn two games. They never stop managing.

Naturally, the return match against United is next, with Liverpool needing to make up a recent score at Old Trafford. The big games are just going to get larger.


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