Jack Grealish comments betray what other clubs really think about Liverpool – Liverpool Echo
It has been a significant footballing week on Merseyside.
The 234th meeting betweenLiverpooland Everton on Wednesday night at Anfield saw a 5-2 win for the Reds which maintainedJurgen Klopp‘s side’s eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, and the end of the road of Marco Silva who was sacked the following evening after the Toffees had sunk into the bottom three again.
Following a rather tepid series of derbies in recent years, this was a spectacle worthy of the occasion, a pulsating match with chances and incident throughout, that saw Liverpool score five against the Blues at Anfield for the first time since September 1965, feature in a six-goal first half for the first time in the 1,053 Premier League games they’ve played to date and rack up Jurgen Klopp’s 100th league win, in just his 159th match in charge.
Perhaps the most significant milestone to emerge from Wednesday night though was Liverpool breaking the club’s all-time top-flight unbeaten run in league matches.
The Reds were beaten narrowly in their first match of 2019, 2-1 at title rivals Manchester City, and the derby victory was their 32nd league match since then without defeat, beating the 31 matches Kenny Dalglish’s side went unbeaten between a 1-0 win over Watford on 4th May 1987 (Ian Rush’s Anfield farewell before he left for Juventus, he scored the winner naturally) and a 1-0 defeat on 20th March 1988 away to, ironically, Everton.
Earlier this week, Aston Villa midfielderJack Grealish alluded to the perception that Liverpool are currently unbeatablewhen discussing the make-up of the league in advance of the newly-promoted Brummies’ clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night and gave indication how some players are regarding Liverpool this season with over a third of the league campaign now completed.
The 24-year-old, who did not play in the Villains’ dramatic home defeat to Liverpool last month, said: “Every team is capable of getting beaten at the moment, apart from Liverpool.
“I think every team is capable of getting beaten, at the weekend you saw what West Ham did to Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge.”
Pride comes before a fall of course and you can be damn sure Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff have been and will continue to do everything in their power to ensure there is not even the merest hint of complacency amongst any of his players.
But Grealish’s comments show the imperious levels Liverpool are now operating at and how they may be entering the kind of territory previously only occupied by a handful of seriously dominant teams.
Sides who had such an aura, who were able to intimidate opponents before a match kicked off to such a degree that, on occasion, it appeared that some managers tactically set their teams up with damage limitation and narrow defeat in mind more than anything else.
Some of Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United sides had that aura, with the title run in of 2006/07 when Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock rested five players for a trip to Old Trafford which they lost 2-0 springing to mind.
The irony of Liverpool resting players a few weeks later for a trip to relegation-threatened Fulham, which they lost 1-0, a few days before a Champions League semi-final, as well as already-crowned champions Manchester United putting out a scratch team for that season’s final day home defeat to West Ham which kept the Irons up at the Blades’ expense no doubt was and no doubt forever will be lost on the recently-departed Cardiff City manager.
Watching some of the victories Manchester City have cantered to in recent seasons have also suggested similar to some Reds supporters, although some City fans would no doubt say the same having seen Liverpool now go two and a half years since losing a league match at Anfield.
Those United and City sides were already proven domestic champions however, with a reputation built from serial trophy-winning over a number of years.
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Liverpool, despite currently wearing the crown of champions of Europe, have still to get over the line to truly confirm that authority by placing the top piece of domestic silverware in the Anfield trophy cabinet.
But the fact that such a perception is being brought to light by one of the top young players in the Premier League shows the Reds closer than ever before – even if Jurgen Klopp and his players, quite rightly, will never admit it publicly and are sure to maintain their focus and drive until that holy grail is attained.
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