Written by TTT Subscriber Paul Croker.
With the Premier League’s inaugural ‘winter break’ here, Liverpool fans have had some time to reflect on what has been an absolutely astounding six months, with a barely believable 24 wins out of 25 in the league being beyond even the wildest expectations.
That the European champions have managed this feat without making a single senior outfield signing in last summer’s transfer window makes it even more remarkable, given some of the criticisms that remained at the end of last season. Then, despite reaching a Champions League final, achieving a club record points tally of 97 in the Premier League then winning the European Cup at the second attempt last season, there were still those who doubted Liverpool’s midfield as an attacking force. It was suggested that the players were all too similar and in order to push on, Liverpool would need a different type: a player capable of regularly creating and scoring goals. Liverpool’s midfield was there to facilitate and cover for the mercurial attacking trio and the perpetual play-making threat of the full-backs. Those claims were about to be emphatically suppressed.
It began in September, with Liverpool just five points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. The Champions were coming off the back of a resounding 8-0 battering of Watford and looking as though they could be returning to the form of last season, as the underlying performance reflected a perfectly fair result – xG – 6.63-0.34 (all figures taken from the Understat website). Liverpool were up first the next game week and had to respond if they wanted to maintain their early advantage in the title race.
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