Liverpool’s win at Wolves has reignited their hopes of securing a top-four spot. PA discusses the upturn in fortunes and what’s next for the Reds.
The victory, only their second in the last eight Premier League matches, helped the reigning champions take advantage of their rivals stumbling at the weekend to move to within five points of fourth-placed Chelsea.
Here the PA news agency looks at what the rest of the season could have in store for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
What is the current mood?
Much improved after two wins in six days, with the Reds having also beaten RB Leipzig last week to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals. Liverpool’s season looked to be spiralling out of control after an unprecedented six home league defeats in succession but there now appears to be hope on the horizon.
Where does this rediscovered optimism come from?
Surprisingly, centre-back. Liverpool’s problem position for most of the season has two new heroes in Nat Phillips, at the club for the last five years but having only made one previous FA Cup appearance, and the 20-year-old Ozan Kabak, who was heavily criticised in the first few games after his loan from Schalke on deadline day in February. The pair have won all three matches they have started together and have yet to concede a goal.
The establishment of two genuine central defenders has allowed Fabinho to return to his preferred defensive midfield position and the difference has been marked. He was man of the match against RB Leipzig and did another good job of protecting the inexperienced back two against Wolves.
So where do they go from here?
With no game now until the April 4 trip to Arsenal, some players will head off on international duty but coronavirus restrictions means there will be more players than usual around the training ground during this break. Of their remaining nine matches only one (Manchester United) is against opposition currently higher than ninth. They could also have captain Jordan Henderson back for the run-in after groin surgery last month.
What if they don’t ultimately reel in Chelsea?
At the moment they have a fall-back option in the Champions League, with the the draw for the quarter-finals being made on Friday. While they remain in that competition there is the possibility of winning it for the second time in three seasons to secure their place among Europe’s elite again.