Liverpool attack clicking at just the right timeSports | 6 Dec 2017
Mohamed Salah has hogged the headlines this season, but as Liverpool's 5-1 demolition of Brighton and Hove Albion demonstrated, he is but one component in a scintillating attacking armada.
Salah took a back seat on Saturday, contenting himself with an assist as Roberto Firmino scored twice and Philippe Coutinho found the net with a delightful free-kick.
With five wins in their last six games, Liverpool have returned to the English Premier League top four for the first time since August.
Their one misstep in recent weeks was the 3-3 draw at Sevilla in the Champions League, in which their failure to protect a 3-0 lead left them requiring at least a point at home to Spartak Moscow tomorrow (HK time) to reach the last 16. But having scored 25 goals in their last eight games in all competitions, Liverpool are playing with as much verve and confidence as in any previous phase of manager Jurgen Klopp's two-year tenure.
Klopp has been forthcoming in his praise of Brazilian forward Firmino, who finished off two superb counter-attacks against Brighton to take his tally of goals for the season to 11.
"Roberto scored twice, but what he did around these goals is what excites me the most," Klopp said. "In all the counter-attacks, pretty much, he won the ball. By being here, by being a little annoying - a little foot, a little toe - that for us is important."
Klopp could even afford the luxury of leaving Sadio Mane on the bench, ensuring the Senegalese flyer will be primed for action against Spartak.
Liverpool have maintained their form despite injury problems in defense. Their momentum has not been affected by the fact Klopp has made 54 changes to his starting lineup in the Premier League this season. By regularly shuffling his pack, Klopp seems determined to avoid a repeat of last season's January slump, when a worn-out team won just once in 10 games, fatally compromising their objectives for the season.