Last week, Liverpool fans could be forgiven for feeling miserable after their first defeat of the season away at Napoli.
Fast forward to the weekend, and they’re back on cloud nine after a hard-fought win away at Chelsea.
What a difference a game makes.
Neither performance against Napoli and Chelsea was terribly good or bad, but the results are very conflicting.
The feeling of suffering an unjust defeat in Naples was irradiated at Stamford Bridge.
An assured, clinical, mature showing against Lampard’s side showed that the defeat in Europe is just a blip.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s Mentality Monsters March on
It was just the response that Liverpool needed against Chelsea.
A thoroughly effective and ruthless first 60 minutes set Klopp’s men up for their fifteenth league win on the bounce.
But the final 30 minutes were a bit of a nerve-shredder – the Reds showed serious mettle to clinch victory.
And this is something that’ll really prove the loss on Naples was an anomaly.
This Liverpool side is made of more than any in the past decade at least.
When they have to, Liverpool can dig deep and win ugly, showing that they’re more than just an out-and-out attacking force.Embed from Getty Images
Klopp was heavily criticised early in his reign for having a leaky defence, but that can’t be said anymore.
But this hasn’t come at the sacrifice of his side’s attacking prowess.
Yes, Liverpool shipped two goals and squandered chances against Napoli, but how often does that happen these days?
Even the performance in Italy was good, and while it’s a frustrating defeat, we can confidently say that it’s a rarity.
Bar Raised Even Higher
The reason that the manner of Liverpool’s victory over Chelsea has been lauded so heavily is of no surprise.
While Liverpool showed signs that they were capable of this sort of performance last season, they rarely did it.
But this year, in the first really testing week of the season, they showed that they can.
The defeat in Naples was bittersweet but to win the way they did at Chelsea just days later is huge.
Liverpool could quite easily have felt sorry for themselves and crumbled when Kante made it 1-2.
Ghosts from the Champions League group opener could potentially have haunted them but the boys didn’t let it happen.
The grit, determination and steeliness of the performance was, as many pointed out, the mark of champions.
Jose Mourinho even stated after the game that Liverpool are winners now, and they know how to win.Embed from Getty Images
That doesn’t just mean by scoring their opponents off the pitch – it means winning when they’re not at their best.
Game management is as good as it’s ever been, with Liverpool seeing out games they previously wouldn’t have.
There’s aggression and snide play from players like Fabinho that gets under opponents’ skin and break up their rhythm.
Then there’s the togetherness of the squad that sees everyone pulling in the same direction with all their might.
It’s this that stands out with Liverpool at present – they can win games in all kinds of ways and they can bounce back from unfortunate games like the Napoli result.
Boys Ready to Play Tough
Even in comparison to last season’s incredible levels, the Reds look to have taken it up a notch again this term.
So the Chelsea victory not only sets down a marker for the league, it quells any fears after the Napoli result.
It was a bad day at the office, but Klopp’s mentality monsters aren’t willing to let it affect them.
And when they say they want to win, you can be sure they’ll aim to do so at all costs.