Liverpool rediscover the one missing ingredient in Merseyside derby win 9 months ago

Liverpool rediscover the one missing ingredient in Merseyside derby win

Liverpool 2-0 Everton.

When you see a fall as steep as Liverpool have in the past nine months, it has to be because of several reasons rather than a single major one.


Injuries have certainly played a big part, as has the departure of Sadio Mane and a rather rocky start for new buys like Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo.

However, for reasons that nobody - including Jurgen Klopp - could seem to find, the team lacked a real rapid intensity that we were so used to seeing in the Reds' gameplay.

Liverpool derby

This Liverpool side have been famed for their relentless, almost demented determination to press the opposition, chase every lost cause, and build attacks from winning the second ball situations.


Countless attacks began when the opposition defence had the ball, and Premier League teams would walk away from Anfield exhausted, feeling like they didn't get any respite for 90 minutes.

That manic energy had all but completely disappeared this season, as the players looked drained and totally tapped out, with nothing in the reserve tanks.

Liverpool derby

Say whatever about form, mistakes and positional changes; without this unwavering philosophy to fall back on, the Reds basically fell apart.


In some ways the Merseyside derby couldn't have came at a more perfect time - what better way to muster up that ravenous, dogged hunger than from a visit from your neighbours?

In a game where losing could have had catastrophic consequences, the Liverpool of old came back from the dead in a fashion so dramatic that it's usually reserved for the world of WWE (and the Undertaker specifically).

From the first whistle, Jordan Henderson went full Roy Keane and rammed into every Everton player like a colourblind bull who confused blue for red.


Andy Robertson followed his captain's example and set a ferocious pace, while Trent Arnold-Alexander wasted no time in fizzing balls into dangerous areas, with a real 'play the averages' kind of approach.

Youngster Stefan Bajcetic looked like the most experienced player on the pitch, playing some lovely football, while Darwin Nunez was his usual chaotic self but also showed off a real delicate touch that we had not seen much of before.

Liverpool derby

Cody Gakpo was winning balls from the front, but above everything else, Mo Salah rediscovered his predatory instincts and scored the kind of goal that used to be the bread and butter of this team.

One thing we haven't mentioned that Klopp's squad have been missing this year is luck - nobody wants to admit it, but the rub of the green goes a lot further than you would care to admit.


Everton hit the post from a corner, before the ball found itself at Nunez' feet who played a delightful one-two with Salah before putting the burners on and unleashing his inner Usian Bolt.

Then, with an inch-perfect cross back to the purring feet of Salah, the Egyptian King finished off a fantastic collaborative goal, with so much emphasis on the partnership between the two strikers, you would wonder if it was engineered purely to make Mane jealous.

The second half couldn't have started better for the red half of the city as one of Alexander-Arnold's teasing passes was skidded across the box, so delicious looking that Gakpo just had to have a nibble and get his first goal for his new club.

With two goals to the good the running didn't stop, the energy didn't deteriorate, the thirst never quenched, and the ruthless instinct of winners was at the forefront.

Now, the question will be asked - is this just a one-off? Is this a case of summoning up the remains of something that barely still exists for one last hurrah, or can this be the springboard that awakens the sleeping giant that is Liverpool Football Club?

On Saturday evening they travel to Newcastle who boast the best defence in the league, so we will find out then, but for now -  Merseyside is very much red.

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