Liverpool squad “buzzing” at Ox’s return & the full-backs’ in-house competition hots up

27 April 2019

Liverpool players were quick to share their delight at the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on social media after their 5-0 win over Huddersfield.


Liverpool returned to Anfield on Friday evening knowing that only a 28th league win of the season would be enough to keep their title hopes within reach.

But, if there were any suggestions that the Reds would take their foot off the pedal against an already-relegated Yorkshire outfit, they were quashed in devastating fashion as Naby Keita nudged Liverpool ahead inside just 15 seconds.

The remainder of the clash was one-way traffic in the direction of Jurgen Klopp’s men as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both bagged a brace to take their league goal tally to 20 and 21 respectively.

The Reds’ performance ensured their place atop of the table was restored, for the time being at least, and it’s a position Andy Robertson has his eyes on retaining as he holds “hopes” for Man City to “slip up”.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, April 26, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates scoring the fifth goal with team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Huddersfield Town AFC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The left-back also took time to discuss his in-house competition with Trent Alexander-Arnold after the game, while also sharing his “delight” at his record number of assists.

“I watched the [Man City] game on Wednesday. I felt if I watched it, it wasn’t going to make much of a difference.

“We don’t expect anything and all we can keep doing is winning games and putting the pressure on them.

“If they pick up the points then we know they win the league. But as long as we keep applying the pressure then hopefully, they slip up.

“But we’ll wait for that to happen hopefully.

“[I’m] delighted [with the assists]. He got one as well [but] I’m just keeping in front.

“It’s all about helping the team and it pushes both of us. That proves it by the numbers this season.

“It’s friendly banter and hopefully it stays that way all the way through. Whoever wins it, it’s going to be incredible and good numbers from both us.”

Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, commended his sides’ “brilliant” attitude to the game and lauded the output of Salah, Mane, Robertson and Alexander-Arnold when speaking to LFCTV after the game.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, April 26, 2019: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on after a year out injured during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Huddersfield Town AFC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“[It was] another top top performance from the lads.

“It can be difficult; I’ve seen teams who have been relegated before play with freedom and win games towards the end of the season, so the focus was fully on tonight and we respected Huddersfield.

“We knew they’d make it difficult and I thought the lads’ attitudes was brilliant and you get your rewards in the game with the goals that you score.”

[…]

“It’s amazing [Salah and Mane’s goal tally]. Their work rate as well, which people don’t look at as much – they always want to look at the goals – but, they work hard for the team and when they get in front of goal they’re clinical.

“If they keep getting in the right areas and we keep feeding them, then they’ll score goals for fun.

“No wonder [Robbo] was hopping off the pitch [after breaking league record for assists by a defender].

“He’s been brilliant all season, him and Trent in the Team of the Year is a fantastic achievement and they fully deserved it.

“They’ve been brilliant all season, not only this season but last season as well, fair play to them.

Notably, the game also marked Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s return to first team action following over a year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

And he took to Instagram after the game to thank “everyone who helped” get him back on the pitch after 367 days:

It was a moment which his teammates were equally as overjoyed with, as Dejan Lovren, Gini Wijnaldum, Robertson and Milner all welcomed his return:

Alexander-Arnold and Keita, meanwhile, remained focused on the task at hand, which is to just “keep winning”:

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The marathon continues ? well done boys ??

A post shared by Naby Deco Keita (@keitanabydeco) on

Liverpool will now take a break from the all-consuming title race as their focus shifts to Barcelona ahead of the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final tie on Wednesday.

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