As this series traditionally focuses only upon goals scored in the Premier League and in Europe, the chances of there even being a round-up for January were looking bleak until the 11th hour.
More accurately, with approximately 75 hours of the month remaining, and Liverpool goalless for their three-and-a-half league matches in the first month of 2021, there wasn’t a single strike to review. But then Roberto Firmino intervened, the blockage was unplugged, and the Reds squeezed six league goals out before January drew to a close.
And while the goals scored in the FA Cup against Aston Villa were neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things (as their players were about 13), bagging a pair at Old Trafford is not to be sneezed at. After all, as depressing as it is to learn, Liverpool have only scored more than once in four of their 25 visits there so far this century, and one of those was under Roy Hodgson. Strange things happen there.
We don’t normally review each goal one-by-one in these articles, but there was much to admire in virtually all of them, and there was plenty of variety to both the manner of the goals and who was involved in them. The eight goals were spread around five different scorers and five assist providers (and those figures apply to the six in the league too).
What’s more, all eight goals had a different man in Red providing the ‘second’ or ‘hockey’ assist, which is the pass or shot prior to the official assist or goal. After a drought of scoring against serious opposition, it seems everyone wanted to get in on the act if they could.
So let’s take a look through an octet of fabulous goals, and rather than go through chronologically – a far too obvious method – here’s an alternate listing. See if you can spot the reason for the ordering before we reach the end.
Manchester United (Goal 2)
Goal: Mohamed Salah. Assist: Roberto Firmino. Second Assist: James Milner.
Football is a fast moving sport, and something incredible can happen when you’re not looking. Just ask Jürgen Klopp, who had no idea how his team had scored their fourth goal against Barcelona in 2019. The television coverage of Liverpool’s FA Cup fourth round tie went from showing a replay of James Milner on the turf after the veteran had missed a clear-cut chance, to him being on the ball in the final third. Five seconds later, Mohamed Salah had scored and it was game on. It wasn’t until we saw the replay that it became clear what had actually happened.
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