Liverpool made it five from five in the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Porto – not to mention netting another couple of strikes which were ruled out.
Liverpool 2-0 Porto
Champions League group stage (5), Anfield
24 November 2021
Goals: Thiago 52′, Salah 70′
That’s 16 games and counting the Reds have found the back of the net at least twice!
It’s the club’s best-ever run for scoring so frequently and equals the English record for it – no side have done it in decades, being an 82-year-old record.
Jurgen Klopp‘s team have gone up a gear or two in attacking terms compared to last year and the consistency, as much as the quality, is the impressive aspect.
It could have been more, even if not for marginal misjudgements of the offside flag.
Rhythm issues on show
Our newest centre-back was caught short a few times: behind the rest of the defence on one occasion, robbed of possession another.
Taki was a similar story, running plenty and being willing to do the work, but not really involved in much build-up until the second half.
It’s what Shaqiri used to suffer from when coming in from the cold, and Ox too until recently – they need a bit more action to play their best.
Neco on the other hand looked sharp and energetic, better defensively than most of his few outings last season, and as though his game time with Wales has done him plenty of good.
As for Champions League debutant Tyler Morton, the fourth change and unusual face in the line-up, he was largely excellent with his covering work and passing from deep, with one penalty-box interception particularly important in the first half.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best run in years
It’s so good to see our attacking midfielder fit and firing again.
Ox made his fourth consecutive start for Liverpool – the first time he has done so since 2018.
It’s just rewards not only for his work rate and improved showings, but his patience – it can’t have been easy watching on and playing fewer than 300 minutes last season.
Salah’s sweet 17
He’s still going: a goal every game on average this season for Mohamed Salah.
This one was a bit like a playground outing for him at times, trying the tricks and unusual passes which probably wouldn’t fly with Jurgen and the gang in a more meaningful match, but ultimately…he’s still better than the rest.
Another fine piece of composure, control and finishing, another celebration for our Egyptian King.
It’s 17 goals in 17 appearances – that kind of ridiculous reliability simply cannot be underestimated.
That mini-‘drought’ of three games is in the rearview mirror.
One more left and Saints next up
As we know from our title-winning season, consistency is everything – and it has to remain that way.
We’ve got to do exactly the same to Southampton, and then the games beyond. Changes can be expected again at the weekend, and they might hint – now that a few are back to full fitness – at where Jurgen sees his first XI right now.
Beyond that, we’ve one final group game to wrap up, away to Milan.
It’ll be (probably!) our final ever trip to the San Siro, making it a little more special, and if we can make it six wins from six we’ll make history as the first Premier League club to do it in the Champions League.
Europe is our domain, so let’s make it happen.