Liver­pool no more on roller coaster

New Straits Times - - Sport -

Liver­pool are now off the Premier League roller coaster and look­ing in the right di­rec­tion ac­cord­ing to man­ager Jur­gen Klopp, who saw his side dis­man­tle top-four ri­vals Arse­nal in a scin­til­lat­ing 3-1 win on Satur­day.

In re­cent months Liver­pool have been a shadow of the vi­brant at­tack­ing side that daz­zled dur­ing the first half of the sea­son, drop­ping out of ti­tle con­tention since the New Year.

A run of just two vic­to­ries in 2017 may have ended any re­al­is­tic ti­tle chances but the panache with which they beat Arse­nal will cause con­cerns for their top-four ri­vals.

Liver­pool climbed above Arse­nal to third in what is a con­gested bat­tle to fin­ish be­hind Chelsea. Just four points sep­a­rate sec­ond-placed Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur from Manch­ester United in sixth.

Against Arse­nal, Liver­pool’s fluid at­tack­ing quar­tet of Philippe Coutinho, Sa­dio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lal­lana cut the north Lon­don­ers to rib­bons in front of an im­pas­sioned Klopp at a buoy­ant Anfield.

“We should not for­get that we are able to do things like we did to­day and we will work on it,” Klopp told BT Sport.

“It was clear we should not for­get what we did well (at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son). I said to the boys that at this mo­ment we are kind of through the roller coaster of the league — up and down, up and down. But now mainly up, still.

“The whole thing is a long-term project. You can un­der­stand that some­times peo­ple lose a lit­tle bit of pa­tience but we can’t. De­vel­op­ment is in­con­sis­tent. De­vel­op­ment gen­er­ally is in­con­sis­tent and un­til we are the team we want to be — then you will be con­sis­tent.

“That’s where we want to go. We will try hard and do ev­ery­thing for it and to­day we showed our nicest face again against a strong op­po­nent.”

Firmino and Mane scored Liver­pool’s first two goals in a blis­ter­ing first-half per­for­mance be­fore Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum added a late third af­ter Danny Wel­beck had pulled a goal back for the Gun­ners.

“We are still young and still feel we are learn­ing,” mid­fielder Lal­lana told BT Sport. “Of course we are dis­ap­pointed with how in­con­sis­tent we have been since Christ­mas but it is up to us to put that right.”

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