Manchester Utd 3-2 Liverpool | Signs of improvement or false dawn?

Afternoon fellow Reds, hope everyone's week has started well but should yesterday's match carry us along optimistically toward Thursday's showdown with Spurs or is that wishful thinking?

I'll set my stall out: while I agree with prior opinions expressed on our match thread that there were signs of improvement against Utd, overall I'm left with more questions and concerns than answers.

The good

Salah is back. Firmino is back. Not much more to add here, this one was self evident. Bobby has found his slide rule and Salah's found his shooting boots.

That's it though, I cannot say I really saw a whole lot else to get excited about and even the Mo and Co positivity is over one game and can't be declared a permanent resurgence.

Hopefully I'm suffering Monday blues and there were a lot more things to enthuse over than I recall. Please let me know but I'll add a factor we can't count on going forward: Utd played an open game. No one else will do that against us and certainly not Spurs.

The bad

Bear with me on this one as it's a subtle and nuanced issue but I'm starting to feel slight concerns our defence may not be in the best shape. It was probably the three goals we conceded and that Rhys Williams was hopelessly outclassed by Rashford which did it.

This is not however Rhy's fault and I actually think he's going to become a very good defender. He's been thrown under the bus by Klopp and FSG and they must shoulder 100% of the blame for our lack of centre-back options.

Our midfield is still an area of further concern in my view. I've said this so many times over the years - we suck whenever we lose Henderson. If anyone would like to challenge that point, I'll go back over seasons and look at our results when he's been unavailable but I already know the outcome, we don't play as well and don't win as much without him.

Hendo's by far our best midfielder in terms of setting the pace and bias between attack and defence and dynamically switching between them. He's also the most aware to danger and the most committed to snuffing that danger out.

Case in point Henderson for sure would have done far more to help Rhys in yesterday's match and we'd not have conceded all the goals we did as a result.

The Origi

I know, I know, that's harsh and of course it's said in jest but it is fair to question just how many games we've lost because we didn't have a striker good enough to come on and make a difference.

We'll always have in mind the huge contributions Origi has made and he'll rightly retain legendary status for them. Sadly though in more general terms he just doesn't cut the mustard and I feel Klopp and FSG must again shoulder some blame for us flogging a technically bereft, lolloping lummox.

Looking forward, we're out of the FA Cup which is a shame but in this crazy season it may end up being a blessing. If, and it's a big if now, we can still win the league, and we still can, then ultimately between ourselves and Utd we'll have the last laugh.

I'm concerned how Henderson's absence (he has a thigh strain) will effect us and of course how we'll cope in defence against a not short of fire power Spurs but we will go again and give it our best shot.
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