5-0? THAT’S NOT MUCH KOP, LADS
Jurgen unimpressed with big win
IT IS not often you get agreement between the manager and players of a side who have just won 5-0 that they need to do better.
Yet those are the standards Jurgen Klopp has now set. Liverpool did well enough as Swansea imploded in the second half, yet until then the game rarely felt warmer than a frozen turkey.
“You look at the scoreline and think it must have been easy, that we did really good, but we didn’t. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t easy,” complained Klopp afterwards.
“It wasn’t perfect, not a very good first half and we had these few problems. But we did better in the second and really had to work hard for the victory.”
Klopp was right to be unimpressed. Only a brilliant Philippe Coutinho goal lit up the first half and Liverpool could have been in real trouble had they not faced opponents whose own temporary manager admitted were simply not professional enough.
“At a place like this you need a seven to eight out of 10 performance from everyone to get any sort of result, but when you are making basic mistakes that are at academy level, then they are going to punish you,” said caretaker Leon Britton.
“We have all been in difficult situations and you must remain focused, be professional. And I didn’t see that out there at times. After we conceded the second goal all belief and confidence drained from the players.”
That moment opened the floodgates with two goals from Roberto Firmino and firsts for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The near impossible job facing the next Swansea manager was summed up by the fifth goal, As Alexander-Arnold tried to work an opening on the right, three defenders stood and watched, then allowed OxladeChamberlain to muscle his way on to the blocked ball and volley it into the roof of the net.
There was no fight, just acceptance. It was a goal to give any potential new boss a chill down the spine – and second thoughts. It took a sublime goal from the supreme Coutinho to break the first-half ice.
As Firmino stole the ball, Jordan Ayew went down far too easily, to allow the Brazilian to feed Salah, who fizzed a pass into Coutinho and a whipped, curling shot did the rest.
Perhaps Liverpool knew that was enough against a side who did not remotely look like scoring, with the willing but inexperienced Oliver McBurnie an ineffective spearhead and Ayew a flitting influence.
The second goal came on 52 minutes when Firmino atoned for a bad miss just before halftime by volleying home a Coutinho free kick, without a defender in sight.
Each goal that followed was more painful. As Andrew Robertson’s cross was headed out by Alfie Mawson, Alexander-Arnold started 15 yards behind Ayew, but got to the ball first and smashed it high into the net for his first Premier League goal.
Leroy Fer’s back-pass was even worse a minute later, as he gave the ball straight to Mo Salah, who unselfishly squared for Firmino to tap in. Then came the collective shambles that allowed Oxlade-Chamberlain his first Anfield goal.
Liverpool’s Brazilliant duo Coutinho and Firmino (left) were head and shoulders above any other player and warmed hearts on a chilly evening.
But Klopp’s men will have to be much better than this to win anything this season, as he admitted afterwards.
FIVE-STAR SHOW Coutinho’s brilliant drive made it 1-0, Firmino volleyed in for 2-0 and Alexander-Arnold blasted in first league goal REDS SO RAMPANT Firmino converts a tap-in for 4-0 before Alex OxladeChamberlain completed rout