“The Unbearables are becoming the Unbeatables” – Media on Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United

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The media admired the effortlessness of Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Sheffield United and feel that the Premier League title is as good as won.

The Reds made the perfect start to 2020 by cruising to victory against the Blades, making it an entire year without a Premier League defeat.

Mohamed Salah’s early strike and Sadio Mane’s second-half finish ensured of the three points and that Jurgen Klopp’s side picked up the new year in the same winning form as the last.

Liverpool’s performance, from front to back, was excellent, and the effortless nature in which the Reds navigated a tricky fixture will have delighted Klopp.

It certainly impressed the media, who were full of praise for the Reds—both collectively and individually—in their post-match analysis.

 

Reporters praised the effortless manner of the win, with Liverpool’s psychological dominance lauded…

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mates during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

The Mirror’s Andy Dunn reflected on how the win was “inevitable” and noted how such victories have now “become the norm” at Anfield:

“This sort of win has become the norm, a routine in these parts.

[…]

“This was not spectacular but was as inevitable as Van Dijk’s majesty.”

The Telegraph’s Sam Wallace wrote how Liverpool’s fearsome reputation is winning games before a ball has even been kicked:

“The evidence as things stand is that the reputation of this Liverpool side precedes them, and they are making good sides look distinctly average.

“This outcome of this game never looked in any doubt from the moment Mohamed Salah gave his side the lead in the fourth minute and even if it was not the greatest performance from Klopp’s side it always looked like it would be enough.”

Analysing how the game was won, ESPN’s James Capps assessed Salah’s early breakthrough as key, as it allowed the Reds to take control almost instantly:

“The Blades are one of the toughest propositions when it comes to Premier League visitors, but the early goal allowed Liverpool to take complete control early on, and despite threats of a quick response by the visitors, Jurgen Klopp‘s side never looked in danger of conceding chances.”

Wallace explained how the victory showed that even if Liverpool don’t always hit top form, they will always have a chance due to the sheer number of match-winners in the team:

“A penny for the thoughts of Pep Guardiola and maybe even Brendan Rodgers who scrutinise these Liverpool performances for a weakness.

“But really what it said to those hoping for the leaders to slip up was that this team have too many players who can win a game.”

 

Liverpool’s fine form and contributions of the whole squad during the intense festive period was also praised…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 2, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and Andy Robertson celebrate after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Evening Standard‘s David Lynch lauded the mentality of Klopp’s side, applauding the Reds for staying so focused in such a relentless period:

“Not every game has been blessed with slick football—in fact, most of them weren’t—but that says everything about the mentality of a team who seem to take the thought of defeat as a personal affront.

[…]

“But the pursuit of perfection demands more, and these players are all in on that concept.”

Writing for Goal, Neil Jones admired the way Liverpool have sustained winning form despite the increasing number of injuries which could not have come at a worse time:

“Keita joins Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nathaniel Clyne and Xherdan Shaqiri on a lengthy-looking injury list.

“But if in previous seasons that would have been enough to derail Liverpool’s season, it is unlikely to be the case this time. This team, these players, are made of far stronger stuff.”

The Mail’s Dominic King highlighted how it is Klopp’s unrelenting pursuit for footballing perfection that is driving his team to new levels:

“The emotion he shows these days comes from his desire to see football perfection and to see this well-oiled team moving serenely through the gears, you sense Klopp feels they are capable of achieving it.

“What Liverpool have done over the past 12 months is extraordinary but there is no indication they have reached the ceiling of their ability.”

 

The media were extremely impressed with Liverpool’s midfield and the in-form centre-back pairing…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 2, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

BBC Sport’s Phil Dawkes thought all three members of the engine room excelled on the night:

“Milner was superb as one third of a brilliant midfield unit, along with Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum.

“Their work-rate, movement and accuracy of passing provided the platform, with Virgil van Dijk alert and efficient on the rare occasions Sheffield United were allowed a kick in the Liverpool half.”

Lynch singled out James Milner for praise, after the vice-captain delivered a fine display despite only stepping in late for the injured Naby Keita:

“The reasons for that are obvious: who better to come in for an unexpected start than a man who treats every warm-up, every training session, every game like it is his last?

“Those commitment levels are exactly why the Yorkshireman did not let his manager down here, putting in a typically fine performance against a handy Sheffield United engine room.”

Jones spoke glowingly of the Gomez-Van Dijk partnership, highlighting how their close friendship off the pitch is no doubt contributing to their success on it:

“Since Joe Gomez joined the imperious Virgil van Dijk at the heart of Klopp’s defence, they have barely looked like conceding.

“Both Gomez and Van Dijk, friends off the field as well as partners on it, were exceptional here.”

The Mirror’s Steve Bates loved Gomez’s performance and assessed how his return to form and his suitability alongside Van Dijk means no new centre-back is required:

Jurgen Klopp has tried Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren alongside Virgil Van Dijk but Joe Gomez looks the perfect fit that could save the European and World Champions millions in the transfer market.

[…]

“Fast, strong and young, the 22-year-old South Londoner could be an Anfield mainstay for the next decade if he continues to improve and develop. And alongside Van Dijk he’ll have one of the best tutors around.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 2, 2020: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (L) tackles Sheffield United's David McGoldrick during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The same reporter explained how Van Dijk’s incredible passing range from the back gives the Reds yet another attacking dimension—as evidenced with the first goal:

“His long ball accuracy turning defence into attack is an equally vital part of his and Liverpool’s armoury.

“Few defenders in the world game have the capacity to play 50, 60 or 70-yard diagonal passes but Van Dijk does it with ease time and again.”

On a similar note, Dunn felt that opener showed why it is so difficult to defend against the Reds, as no other team can be so direct and accurate from front to back with “such devastating effect”:

“The opening goal was a vivid snapshot of what makes this Liverpool team so formidable. No team can employ a direct approach with such accuracy and to such devastating effect.

“That is the special quality of Jurgen Klopp’s operation—they can slice open opponents with a thousand cuts or with one or two piercing incisions.”

 

The Premier League title is already as good as won in the view of several journalists…

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with Sadio Mane during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

Dunn commented on how Liverpool are on “auto-pilot” flying towards the title:

“Salah, Mane and Liverpool are flying to the Premier League title on auto-pilot excellence.

[…]

“A Premier League title for Liverpool is as near a ¬certainty as you can get at this time of the season but if Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino remain fit, it is actually a formality. The well-being of those three is matched in importance only by the health of Van Dijk.”

The Mail’s Ian Ladyman believes that the Reds will claim the trophy even if a couple of dodgy results arrive in tough upcoming matches with Tottenham and Man United:

“Although January contains an examination at Tottenham a week on Saturday and also a game at Anfield against Manchester United, this is a Premier League that would appear to have a Liver bird stamped all over it.

“Should Liverpool get to the end of this month without losing then surely the trophy will be theirs.”

Meanwhile, Bates already thinks that the Reds look like a side capable of dominating English football for years to come under Klopp’s guidance:

Manchester City may have had the team of the decade but Klopp could well be the manager of the next 10 years with his side looking like they intend to rule English football for years to come.

[…]

“And no-one deserves more praise than Klopp for building a team that seem to have forgotten how to lose.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 2, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A great line to end on from the Liverpool Echo’s Paul Gorst, who feels that Liverpool are indeed capable of going through the entire league campaign unbeaten:

“The Unbearables are becoming the Unbeatables.

[…]

“Just who, if anyone, will stop them? Klopp will bristle at the mere suggestion but the longer this virtually impeccable season continues in such a vein, the ‘I’ world will creep further and further into the conversation.”

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