A dramatic win deep into injury time is a fitting way for Liverpool to climb back up once again after three league matches without a win. The Jurgen Klopp experience has been everything but boring, and while there have been disappointing moments, there’s life to this team, unlike the dying days of the Brendan Rodgers tenure.
So this is Klopp at Liverpool in the Premier League: Six wins, four draws, five defeats. Rodgers, up to getting fired following his 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park, had three wins, three draws and two defeats. Yes, the Klopp victories have been bigger and more exciting: A 3-1 impressive performance against a broken Chelsea side while coming from behind, and a glorious 4-1 victory at the Etihad against Manchester City, defeating them 4-1. Things have looked even better for Klopp in the cup competitions, but he was brought over to make something of this season in the league, not show some Europa League dominance.
The match against Norwich was possibly the perfect storm and example of Liverpool under Klopp. Missing players might be the most common ingredient, late substitutions by a manager who sometimes seems like he has a perfect grasp and understanding of what goes on during a match, and other times has too much faith in his own choice of lineup. In the high pressure, never relent system by Klopp, Adam Lallana is crucial to the trio that presses up front. Maybe it was dumb luck that Lallana scored the winning goal after almost 95 minutes of football. But maybe Klopp left him on the bench for too long.
The poor defending has been the biggest disappointment for Liverpool, who once again find themselves two good results from advancing to fifth place with an eye at 4th position. In the kind of season we’re seeing the Premier League, when anything can actually happen, there’s no denying the aspirations of finishing in the top 4, with 4th the only reachable position from what we can see, are still there for Liverpool, although personally, unless there’s some massive arrival of players in the next 8 days, they’re not good enough to finish above sixth. Klopp’s tactics, fitting or not for what he has at his disposal, sometimes make Liverpool look like a team doing the wrong thing for 90 minutes. It makes for high pace and exciting football, but against teams that are counter attacking themselves, the best word to find for it is counterproductive.
It’s another exhausting week leading up to the big away match against Leicester: A League Cup semifinal second leg against Stoke at Anfield which could be a lead up towards Klopp’s first title with Liverpool, followed by an FA Cup match against the shaky West Ham, also at Anfield, a fixture that resulted in a 3-0 away win for the Hammers earlier this season, one of the more resounding cracks to the Rodgers regime before it completely fell apart.
Klopp might once again throw a word or sentence about the fixtures in England, but it’ll be like pissing in the wind. He needs to make do with what he has, in terms of condensed match list and especially a squad that isn’t exactly fitting to what he wants to see on the pitch, with the added difficulty of a “very special” injury crisis, leaving him with a defense that doesn’t trust its goalkeeper, and has been especially exposed in set piece situations. Championship teams can’t rise from these conditions, but making some better choices and wee bit of luck or fortune or magic can go a long way for a team that can certainly use it.