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Liverpool have exorcised the demons of last season and are a match for anybody right now

Having three players scoring goals at this rate is a recipe for success in a title race, and that fear factor Liverpool lost is back in abundance.
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal against Southampton

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal against Southampton

John Aldridge

MOMENTUM is a wonderful commodity in sport. Liverpool confirmed they have it driving them forward once again after the 4-0 win against Southampton.

Overall, I’d only give them seven out of 10 for their performance, but it was more than good enough to beat Southampton because they have that X Factor back in their DNA.

When you look back to the way Liverpool were playing in that horrible period at the start of 2021, and compare it to now, there is one crucial reason why they are winning matches.

When confidence was low and teams were nicking a 1-0 win at Anfield, you could sense the panic in the team when they missed a few chances. Their mindset is different now.

I was concerned Mo Salah and Sadio Mane had lost their mojo for good when I watched them in that horrible period in January and February, but those two have come roaring back this season.

Then you throw Diogo Jota into the mix and Liverpool have the attacking firepower that was lacking.

Look at the Premier League scoring charts this morning and you will see Salah at the top with Mane and Jota in the next two places.

Liverpool's Diogo Jota is congratulated by his team-mates after he opened the scoring

Liverpool's Diogo Jota is congratulated by his team-mates after he opened the scoring

Having three players scoring goals at this rate is a recipe for success in a title race, and that fear factor Liverpool lost is back in abundance.

Despite the comprehensive nature of the win, this was not a flawless display from Liverpool, as they gave the ball away far too often in windy conditions at Anfield.

I was perched high in the stand and the wind was howling, which had an impact on the game as both teams gave the ball away time and again.

The war zone that was my back garden, confirms the storm that crashed into Liverpool in the early hours of Saturday morning had plenty of power in it, and the swirling conditions led to plenty of mistakes.

You know things are tricky when Thiago Alcantara gives the ball away, and he did that four or five times in the first half.

The Spanish midfielder was not alone and wind can be a great leveller in a game.

Klopp would only have started to breathe a little easier when Jota’s second goal went in with a little over half an hour gone.

This game appeared to be there for the taking as a lovely move started by Sadio Mane saw a returning Andy Robertson set up the opener for Jota.

Yet Liverpool didn’t kick off from that moment as they were sloppy in possession, missed chances and gave Southampton opportunities to get back into the game.

Alisson Becker saved Liverpool on a couple of occasions before the break.

You could see how agitated Klopp was on the touchline. Then Jota got his second , and it reminded me of the kind of goal I used to specialise in, with the tap-in so satisfying for any striker.

Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara scores his side's third goal

Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara scores his side's third goal

Thiago blasted a third goal and I’d be hopeful of seeing a lot more from him in the coming months. The way this Liverpool team are set up, he should be scoring more.

The power and assurance he has with his shooting means he could be the solution to Liverpool’s lack of goals from midfield, which has been an issue for a long time.

Despite that third goal and the comfortable half-time lead, I suspect Jurgen would have had a pop at his players at half-time for giving the ball away as much as they did, even though they could have been 6-0 up at half-time.Liverpool have that attacking bite back now.

Virgil van Dijk added the cherry on the cake by scoring against his former club and some of Liverpool’s attacking play yesterday was ridiculously good.

You can’t win anything without goals and the three forwards Klopp has leading his charge are firing on all cylinders now.

If they can keep the trio fit, they will go close to winning trophies this season.

It was also great to see Robertson back to his brilliant best, after what has been a tricky few months for the Scotland full-back.

Kostas Tsimikas has done well when he has been in the team, but Klopp is loyal to players who have served him well and he got rewarded with a fine display from Robertson.

Jota was fantastic with his two goals yesterday, but I’d say Robertson was probably the man-of-the-match, and that display will give him a lot of confidence.

One Liverpool player who could take his game up a level is Ibrahima Konate, who doesn’t always use his presence as well as he should.

This lad is a giant of a man, but he doesn’t dominate in aerial battles as well as he should.

I feel this side could be even more ruthless and finish off teams when they are there for the taking, with dropped points in games against Brentford and Brighton recently.

Yet when you look back at the last week, Liverpool have played three home games, scored 10 goals and kept three clean sheets.

That’s as close to perfection as it gets – Liverpool are a threat for anyone now.


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