Origi highlights the transfer request
Warning: hair dying can seriously damage your Liverpool striker power.
Roberto Firmino found out when, as part of the title celebrations, he had his locks colored red and promptly produced a real stink at Thursday’s Etihad.
Firmino was on the bench here against Aston Villa, Divock Origi gave a rare opportunity in the middle in front of Takumi Minamino.
But when it turned out that the Belgian’s talent had been whitewashed in a dazzling white, it made his fitting performance even more obvious.
While Origi has made 26 Premier League appearances this season, this was only a sixth start and only a second in his favorite central role.
However, he soon moved away to the wings, rotating with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
It made little difference. Origi has always been a player for the big occasion and it’s not like that, hooked for Firmino every hour.
Immediately, Liverpool was transformed, although this owed as much to the remodeled midfield as to the forward reinforcement line.
Regardless, Origi’s below-average projection suggests that Minamino will be next in line if Firmino were to rest from the central position, whether in Brighton or Hove Albion midweek or against Burnley in Anfield next Saturday.
And with Rhian Brewster once again on loan in Swansea City, he asks further questions about who the future options will be next season – and if more will be needed.
Gomez shows resolve
Joe Gomez will have hurt.
Thursday was bad enough to be dismantled by Raheem Sterling in Manchester City in such a devastating way.
But then being told to take a shower and get changed during the break was a clear message from Jurgen Klopp that his display did not meet the standards that the central defender has imposed on himself in the past two years.
This, therefore, was the ideal reaction, Gomez the most impressive defender of Liverpool on an afternoon when both sides were again far from the best.
The swirling and windy conditions were not a problem for the English international, who regularly swallowed the threat from Villa and gradually rebuilt his confidence during the 90 minutes.
If Gomez’s defense has never been in doubt, this has been an example of his resolve and strong mentality.
And when Liverpool’s defense was violated, visitors found Alisson Becker in an imperious form.
In fact, his save from Jack Grealish during the stopping time, diving to the left to turn the ball into a corner, was worthy of a much, much better game than that.
A clean sheet has once again moved the Brazilian level with Burnley’s Nick Pope in his attempt to retain the Premier League Golden Gloves award.
Even when it doesn’t really matter, Alisson has shown why he remains the best goalkeeper in the world.
Jones points to the future
Curtis Jones didn’t have much time to face a memorable week with his Premier League debut goal in a first full-scale outing at Anfield.
The nineteen-year-old had only been on the pitch for four minutes when, shortly before, full-time, he reacted more quickly to Salah’s header to hit a deflected shot at home.
It was the ideal way for Jones to celebrate signing an extended and improved contract less than 24 hours earlier.
This was a revolutionary season for the teenage midfielder, who brought his happy talent to score goals from under 23 in the first team.
With Sadio Mane having scored his expected goal – he is now 50 in Anfield in all competitions and six out of six against Villa – Liverpool have secured the 24th consecutive home victory and now have not lost their path in the top flight for 57 games.
Klopp has always claimed that he is not particularly bothered by the records, but only 11 points are required from the last five games to reach that magical score of 100.
The performance may not have been stellar. But, in response to what happened against City, this was done.