Xherdan Shaqiri‘s recent good form continued as he scored his first goal for Liverpool against Cardiff and he says the Reds fully deserved the big win.
The Swiss international has been one of the most in-form players for Jurgen Klopp‘s team of late, contributing both from the start and off the bench as he looks to earn a regular spot.
His introduction on the hour mark, in place of Adam Lallana, helped spark the Reds back into gear at the weekend, after a stubborn Cardiff team proved difficult to overcome until late on.
Shaqiri noted that this type of match was difficult to shine in given the approach of the away side, but bravery was key in looking to attack, he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We had to be brave all game. You saw in the beginning, we scored very early for 1-0 but it was a tough game to play and it was not nice to play against this team; they are a very physical team.
“We knew they were very strong in [set-pieces] with big players in their team.
“So we had to be brave all game and, in the end, I think the result is a little bit too much for this game but it’s a good sign for the team that we believed until the end and we also tried to score more goals. We fully deserved the win.
Shaqiri has quickly earned the adulation of supporters for his all-action style of play and trickery on the ball.
His goal, the third on the afternoon at Anfield in the eventual 4-1 win, follows on the back of assists in recent matches.
Shaqiri is clearly relishing being part of a team challenging for honours, after being part of a less-than-successful Stoke side relegated last year.
“It’s nice to be here,” he said. “We have a very good team and we want to be successful. When we play like this we can be successful.
“Our goal has to be to be successful. We are in a good way but we have to keep going, it’s just the beginning of the season and we have a lot of games to come. We are in a good way.”
Despite the Reds conceding late on, Shaqiri has no doubts that the overall defensive ability of the team is exceptional and that it’s no reflection on the back line.
“The defenders will be disappointed that we conceded a goal – but that is football. We cannot play all the time scoring five or six goals and not conceding.
“Every team concedes some goals. But, defensively we are still very good and stay very strong at the back. I’m confident we’re going to keep going like this.”
Plenty of fans, at least, have already decided that Shaqiri should definitely be in any strongest Reds XI at present.