Liverpool battle past Sheffield United to return to the top of the table

Liverpool battle past Sheffield United to return to the top of the table

Liverpool battle past Sheffield United to return to the top of the table

Jurgen Klopp was a relieved man after watching his Liverpool team make hard work of bottom side Sheffield United at Anfield tonight.  The Reds secured the win, but it was far from the easy victory most people had predicted.

  • Jurgen Klopp makes two changes from the team that beat Brighton at the weekend
  • Sheffield United nearly takes the lead in the first minute, Kelleher makes an excellent block
  • Liverpool start slowly, despite the importance of the game
  • Reds take the lead in the 17th minute when Nunez charges down a clearance from the United keeper
  • Liverpool had over 90% of the possession in the first half but failed to create chances
  • HALF-TIME - Liverpool 1 - 0 Sheffield United
  • United came out fighting in the second half and snatched an equaliser on the break in the 59th minute
  • Harvey Elliott, celebrating his 21st Birthday, comes on as a substitute 
  • Curtis Jones returns from injury, as Klopp makes more changes
  • Alexis Mac Allister scores a screamer from 20 yards to restore the Red's lead
  • Mac Allister hits the crossbar with a free-kick from 25 yards
  • Gakpo seals the win with a headed goal in the 90th minute
  • FULL-TIME - Liverpool 3 - 1 Sheffield United

Match Summary

Despite most of the talk before the game centering around how many goals Liverpool could score to improve their goal difference, the Reds failed to start tonight's game with the intensity or energy that most people expected, with the first 15 minutes of the match passing by with Liverpool creating very little.  Indeed, as has been the way in recent home games, the visitors could and should have taken the lead, when, with just 70 seconds on the clock, McAtee saw his close-range effort saved by Kelleher.

Then, after 17 minutes, Darwin Nunez chased down United keeper, with his clearance rebounding off the Uruguayan striker and into the empty net. It was the sort of freak goal that can win you titles, but it also summed up Liverpool's performance in the first half - hopeful rather than confident.

As the game moved towards half-time, Liverpool had failed to create many clear-cut chances, despite dominating possession, with Jurgen Klopp and the Anfield crowd growing more uneasy as the minutes ticked by.

And that sense of unease only grew as the second half got underway, with Sheffield United playing much more expansive football, pressing Liverpool higher up the pitch, and getting forward as quickly as possible.  And the Blades were rewarded for their improved performance, when, on 59 minutes, they grabbed a deserved equaliser, with Gustavo Hamer's header deflecting off Conor Bradley's foot.  Anfield was stunned, and Jurgen Klopp was livid, quickly making several substitutions, with Elliott, Gakpo, Robertson, and Jones all coming on, as the Reds went in search of another goal.

That goal was duly delivered by Liverpool's best player of the past few months, as Alexis Mac Allister scored a 20-year screamer, to send Anfield wild with celebration.  A lot has been made of Mac Allister's recent performances, particularly in light of the modest transfer fee that Liverpool paid Brighton for his services, and the Argentine midfielder is quickly establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe.

Mac Allister's goal helped ease the nerves around the stadium and knocked the confidence of the United players, as Liverpool once again controlled the possession and rhythm of the game.  Then, as the game moved into injury time, a lovely cross from Andy Robertson was guided into the bottom corner by Cody Gakpo, to seal the win, and ensure Liverpool moved back to the top of the table.

It may not have been the goal-fest Liverpool fans wanted, but the most important thing was to get the three points, which Liverpool accomplished, with Klopp and his players now turning their attention to Manchester United on Sunday.

Liverpool vs Sheffield United match stats

Possession
Liverpool - 83% - 17% Sheffield United

Total Shots
Liverpool 29 - 5 Sheffield United

Shots on Target
Liverpool 9 - 3 Sheffield United

Corners
Liverpool 13 - 1 Sheffield United

Fouls
Liverpool 6 - 9 Sheffield United

Man of the Match

Alexis Mac Allister (who else) - 9/10 - The Argentine midfielder was at the heart of everything Liverpool did, whether that was driving forward or winning tackles, and scored a screamer to help Liverpool on their way to another three points.

What's Next

Liverpool travels to Old Trafford on Sunday 7th of April, in what is probably their toughest remaining Premier League fixture.  The Reds need no motivation ahead of the game, but the memory of the recent 4 - 3 loss in the FA Cup will certainly spur the team on.

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... About The Author ...

Peter Farrell :: LFC - Back On Our Perch Author and Editor

Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 552

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Adrian F.

    Not being able to watch the match live, this accurate reporting of the game created images of what I missed. Well done to the site author.

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