Return of intensity the Key As Liverpool Beat Leipzig

Scott Groom
Read Time:3 Minute, 49 Second

Liverpool put recent results behind them in Hungary with a comprehensive 0-2 victory over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

There were positives aplenty to take from the victory, with many players catching the eye for the Reds.

The likes of Thiago Alcantara, Ozan Kabak, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Curtis Jones all put in stellar performances on the night.

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However, more importantly than this was the performance of the team as a whole, which was again good.

A more rigid defensive display and ruthlessness in front of goal saw Liverpool get the result they deserved.

This is a welcome result after recent performances perhaps didn’t get the results they deserved.

That was down to a return of what the Anfield faithful are more accustomed to seeing – a side that is relentless for 90 minutes.

Intensity Integral In Liverpool Win

Leipzig were seen as a potentially tricky fixture before kick-off, especially considering Liverpool’s recent slump in form.

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Julian Nagelsmann has assembled a talented squad with a number of eye-catching individuals playing an attractive brand of football.

He did the same during his time at Hoffenheim, but similarly to when that side faced Liverpool, they came unstuck.

Liverpool returned to their impressive, pressing, relentless best in this pivotal European tie and snuffed Leipzig out.

From minute one, the intensity that’s been missing in recently was back, with Leipzig being given no time to settle.

The front three led the charge, with Roberto Firmino noticeably leading by example and chasing down the spaces all night.

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Following this up were the tenacious Thiago, Gini Wijnaldum and Jones.

All three put in solid displays, with particular mentions for Thiago who had his best game of late and the outstanding Jones.

The youngster has quickly established himself as not just a rotation option but an integral part of Klopp’s plans.

Last night it was clear to see why – everything about his game both on and off the ball was superb.

Jones provided desire in bucket loads in the middle, setting the tone for the rest of the team.

A refreshing defensive solidarity

Behind Jones and co in the middle, Liverpool’s defence also put in one of their better performances in recent weeks.

Ozan Kabak, making his Champions League debut, looked particularly impressive and provided that same intensity as Jones before him.

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He snapped into tackles, pressed Leipzig attackers high, read the game superbly and was dominant in the air.

By his side, the ever reliable Jordan Henderson put in another solid showing at centre half to keep Leipzig out.

While it’s clear he’s not cut out to play there long-term and shows moments of vulnerability, he’s certainly doing an admirable job.

But he, like Kabak, was brisk in the challenge and could be heard barking orders to his team mates all game.

Alexander-Arnold and Robertson provided width and energy on the flanks as always, and reinforced the efforts of the rest of the team.

All of these things combined led to a far more pleasing performance on the eye, and the scoresheet, for Liverpool.

A timely boost before more pivotal matches

It was, without doubt, exactly what the doctor ordered for Klopp and Liverpool after a difficult few weeks.

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Much has been made of on and off field matters, and form is still a sizeable concern.

So this result and the manner of the victory will send a message that Liverpool still mean business.

This will give the whole squad a much needed lift ahead of the weekend’s Merseyside derby at Anfield.

This is always a huge fixture, but is particularly important given both team’s need for points in a bid to secure European football next season.

But not only is all attention now rightly on this crunch match, but also those games that follow it.

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While fixtures against Sheffield United, Fulham and Wolves may not be the most glamorous, they’re pivotal to Liverpool’s season.

These are the type of games that are must win at any time, but are even more so now.

Carrying this confidence forward into these games before facing Leipzig at Anfield again is pivotal.

It could well be a turning point to carry Liverpool out of this recent rut.

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