Trent joins ‘100 club’ as Robbo ticks off checklist on “impressive night” for Reds

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The Premier League debutant and the match-winner were lavished with praise by their teammates following Liverpool’s 2-1 win over West Ham.

It’s been a case of when the going gets tough, the tough get going for Jurgen Klopp‘s men over the last fortnight as despite a series of setbacks Liverpool notched their fourth successive win on Saturday evening.

Once again, it was far from straightforward as the Hammers were the ones to land on the scoresheet first through Pablo Fornals before Mohamed Salah cancelled out the strike from the spot on the cusp of half time.

A decisive double substitution and disallowed goal later, the Reds had the ball in the back of the net thanks to the ingenuity of Xherdan Shaqiri and Diogo Jota to seal all three points.

While not a slick performance across the board, it was one with a number of important sub-plots with Nat Phillips excelling on his Premier League debut and Liverpool’s squad depth coming to the fore once more.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 31, 2020: Liverpool’s Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the second goal, but it was disallowed after a VAR review, he scored a second goal that stood a few minutes later, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

For Jota, it was his fourth goal for the club in nine appearances and his third in a row at Anfield and speaking to Sky Sports after the game, he remained down to earth as the “most important” statistic of the night was the scoreboard:

“It means a lot, of course. [I was] always on the bench seeing the game and thinking what I could do different to unlock the result.

“Fortunately, I did two goals, just one counted but in the end we got the victory.

“The most important [thing] was the win and we just want to keep winning games.

“I played two games in the starting XI before this one. This is a team. The manager chooses the XI and then we just need to do our job.”

The Portugal international is certainly proving his worth early doors and the man who supplied the assist for his goal in Shaqiri hailed his ability to decide a game.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 31, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp prepares to bring on substitutes Xherdan Shaqiri and Diogo Jota (L) during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

And for Shaqiri, who made only his third league appearance in 2020, it was another step in the right direction in getting his “minutes back” after an injury-laden run:

“It was unbelievable. Of course, the subs always try to change the game and try to decide the games.

“And, of course, I’m a player and Diogo is also a player who can decide games and we needed that, so it was perfect.

“We both [played a part] in the second goal. It was a nice one and an important one, so we are very happy the three points stay here at Anfield.

“Obviously I was injured a few times and it was always the hard way for me until now. I’m very happy that I’ve got my minutes back, I’ve tried to stay fit and I hope it stays like this.”

The result left a lot to celebrate post-match for the Reds, with Phillips, Jota and an Anfield league unbeaten run which now stretches an incredible 63 games.

It was a case of lauding the “mountain” that was Phillips on his Premier League debut for Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner as the pair helped guide the Reds to another “big three points”:

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Big 3 points, Jots on ?? and big Nat was a ?at the back #ynwa

A post shared by James Milner (@jamesmilnerofficial) on

For Andy Robertson, meanwhile, the evening saw a number of items ticked off his checklist which included a “Jota goal, Nat Phillips MOTM, big win, great Saturday” – you can say that again, Robbo:

It proved to be an “impressive night at Anfield” for Jordan Henderson and the two super-subs in Shaqiri and Jota:

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Impressive night at Anfield! ? #YNWA

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?????????? #XS23 #YNWA

A post shared by XS (@shaqirixherdan) on

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Uau @shaqirixherdan ? Great night ???

A post shared by Diogo Jota (@diogoj_18) on

And it was a “proud” day for Trent Alexander-Arnold as he joined the Premier League‘s 100 appearance club, while Curtis Jones was thrilled with receiving “another opportunity” and ending it on a winning note:

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100 club. Proud.

A post shared by Trent Alexander-Arnold (@trentarnold66) on

The occasion marked yet another example of the character and mentality of this Liverpool side, one which is a testament to their continual growth under some challenging circumstances.

As ever, they will have little time to soak it in as a Champions League tie at Atalanta awaits on Tuesday evening, where a win would set them up nicely at the halfway point of the group stages.

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