Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool | Encouraging signs but let's not break out the Kool-aid just yet

Well that was more like it. A thoroughly deserved victory which, if not for Sheffield keeper Ramsdale growing six pairs of extra hands, could easily have been four nil to us in the first half alone.


This was a good performance from our entire team. Not to be outdone by Ramsdale our own keeper Adrian did a stellar job and in front of him Kabak and Phillips kept a clean sheet. They weren't always fully convincing and more on this below.

Robertson played high up the pitch with his ever present Duracell like energy which helped to peg back Sheffield's right-back and TA² played a blinder on the other side of the pitch, heavily involved in both attack and defence.

In midfield we were, as predicted, solid if not spectacular. This key area, as well as defence, and attack are still the biggest worry. How is it I can simultaneously praise and question all three departments with near Schrödinger-esque precision? I will tell you....

Okay, let's get critically real here, against bottom dwellers Sheffield our defence managed not to concede albeit with the help of an offside call but I sat watching the game with a recurring thought: 'I can see Phillips and Kabak getting slaughtered against better opposition'

Moving to midfield it's the 'unspectacular' nature which is the issue. Simply put, when it comes to stiffer competition I'm still not seeing a sufficient level of magic to give me confidence we will prevail.

In attack, we scored one goal which Bobby managed to bounce in off someone's arse or elbow and another which was a nice effort from Jones. Overall, clinical finishing was lacking once more.

Heading into a game worth six points against a fellow top four contender, where do we stand?

My guess, if Fabinho is available which he may well be, Klopp will put him straight back into defence and I tend to feel he should. In midfield we have Keita who completed a veritable marathon of ten whole minutes against Sheffield - I'd like to see him start against Chelsea and think he will.

In attack, if Jota is able to come on as a sub then that would be brilliant. I don't see us starting him right away as he's clearly vital to the rest of our season including the champions league.

Key points:

We need Fabinho back or else our defence could be overwhelmed.

We need more cut and thrust in midfield which could be provided by Keita but for how long?

If Jota isn't available in attack then Salah, Mane and Firmino must do better in front of goal.

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