With about ten weeks of the 2021/22 season remaining, Liverpool find themselves in the enviable position of being right in the mix for the Premier League title, with a Champions League quarter-final and an FA Cup semi-final also on the horizon.
Yearly Archives: 2022
In this very column we tipped Under 2.5 Goals in the contest between Arsenal and Liverpool on Wednesday evening, and the game played out exactly as we expected it to. The Gunners retreated every time the Reds moved forward with the ball, and while it would be unfair to suggest Mikel Arteta parked the bus – his side transitioned in numbers when they retrieved possession – the emphasis was on solidity over creativity.
With comfortable 2-0 victories in their respective weekend games, both Liverpool and Arsenal head into their midweek clash at the Emirates Stadium in fine spirits.
Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool’s finishing as ‘slapstick’ in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Inter Milan, and the comedy almost became a tragedy as the Italians pressed hard for an equaliser.
Another potential obstacle overcome, Liverpool remain in the hunt for the Premier League title despite Manchester City’s subsequent win over their local rivals United. West Ham have become one of the toughest sides to beat in the division, and Saturday evening’s encounter at Anfield was always likely to be settled by the odd defining moment here or there.
Liverpool’s FA Cup win over Norwich City on Wednesday threatened to turn into a footballing version of the hare and tortoise fable. The Reds romped into a two-goal lead thanks to a brace of goals from Takumi Minamino, and given Norwich’s poor form and lowly status in the Premier League it seemed impossible for them to come back from that deficit.
And as Liverpool pushed to extend their cushion but failed to find a breakthrough, Lukas Rupp stole clear to fire home completely against the run of play and set up a final 20 minutes that was more fraught than it really needed to be from Jurgen Klopp’s perspective.
And there you have it: Liverpool have won the EFL Cup for the first time in a decade, and landed their first of what will hopefully turn out to be a number of trophies in 2022. The Reds held their nerve in a titanic penalty shootout after a pulsating 120 minutes against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium somehow passed by without a goal.
There’s no better way to prepare for a major cup final than hitting your opponents for six in your prior engagement. And that’s exactly what Liverpool did on Wednesday evening – blasting half-a-dozen goals past Leeds United without reply at Anfield, and sending a clear message to Chelsea ahead of Sunday’s EFL Cup final.
Liverpool have one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals after a 2-0 first leg win in Milan on Wednesday evening. In truth, the scoreline flatters the Reds. They were outplayed for large swathes of this encounter, and Inter came the closest to scoring when Hakan Calhanoglu struck the woodwork.
Jurgen Klopp described Sunday’s trip to Burnley as a potential ‘banana skin’ for his side, so he will have been delighted that Liverpool didn’t slip out of the title race at Turf Moor.