A FANTASTIC PERFORMANCE FROM ADRIAN
An early David McGoldrick header drew an impressive save from the Spaniard standing in for Alisson, who is on compassionate leave, and the injured Caoimhin Kelleher. And soon after, Adrian pushed away McGoldrick’s awkward deflected shot for a corner, which he then dealt with thanks to a commanding punch.
The way he sensibly cleared when Oliver Burke found himself in on goal late on rounded off a pretty faultless showing from the veteran. Though given little to do in-between, this was a far cry from the goalkeeper who had shipped nine in his only two previous league games this season.
And given the fact that Liverpool were without a clean sheet in their last seven away league games, conceded 13 goals in that time, a shut-out here was not to be sniffed at. Already, the Reds have let in 34 league goals this term, one more than in the entirety of last season.
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IS THE TOP FOUR RACE BACK ON FOR JURGEN KLOPP?
On paper, last season’s Premier League runaway champions winning against a team destined for the drop would not appear much to write home about. For Liverpool, however, arresting four straight league defeats with a third-choice goalkeeper and a 14th different center-back pairing carries its own mental hurdles.
Jurgen Klopp’s side deserves much credit for passing this test and are looking much closer to the team that previously went 44 top-flight games unbeaten. The obvious caveat is that they faced a beleaguered Sheffield United side still propping up the table with a 15-point gap that seems impossible to overcome.
But the significance of the Reds’ win should not be underestimated, and not just because they avoided five consecutive league defeats for the first time since 1953. They peppered the Blades’ goal throughout and looked solid at the back – two compliments that anyone has rarely been able to pay Liverpool recently. Tougher tests still await but if Klopp’s side consistently plays as well as they did here, it’s hard to see them not making that all-important top-four spot.