Jurgen Klopp’s side eked out a 2-1 win over Wolves in their last Premier League match. It wasn’t their best display in the Premier League, especially after the blistering attacking display against Manchester United last weekend. Wolves’ Raul Jimenez may have scratched the glossy vintage of Liverpool’s defence, but one man came out shining out of the Wolves game. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson scored Liverpool’s first and then assisted Roberto Firmino’s winner as the Reds extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to a total of 40 games.
Much was made of the injuries to Man City duo Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane. The fact that the Premier League centurions are lagging some distance behind Liverpool in the table has been chalked down to the injuries to Laporte and Sane. However, few Premier League fans have acknowledged the injuries in the Liverpool squad. Goalkeeper Alisson was out injured for first 11 games this season, while Fabinho (13 games) and Joel Matip (21 games) were also largely absent from the Liverpool squad as the fixtures came thick and heavy for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Alisson has the best save percentage among all the Premier League goalkeepers this season. Towards the end of last season, Joel Matip filled in for Joe Gomez and formed arguably the most watertight center-back partnership with Virgil van Dijk. Fabinho, on the other hand, has proven to be the midfield destroyer Liverpool have been crying out for since the Mascherano days. Losing any one of these players should have been a massive blow for Liverpool. However, the likes of Adrian, Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez have seamlessly plugged those holes. Jordan Henderson has filled in for Fabinho in the No. 6 role and has proven to be the engine of the Liverpool midfield. Meanwhile, Adrian has looked assured when called upon. Joe Gomez, at just 22 years of age, is arguably the most promising centre-back in England.
Manchester City have dealt with their injuries by fielding Fernandinho in defence. On the other hand, Leroy Sane was often overlooked for Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez for a place in the line-up. When fully fit, Aymeric Laporte is an impressive centre-back. The Frenchman leads the City defence with an authority that they have been missing since Vincent Kompany’s departure. While his absence may have thrown a spanner in the works, their issues are also down to the fact that they failed to replace Kompany in the summer. Liverpool, on the other hand, have done little business after that eventful summer that saw Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri make their way to Anfield.
Most Premier League assists for Liverpool:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 23, 2020
🔴 Steven Gerrard (92)
🔴 Steve McManaman (58)
🔴 Jordan Henderson (35)
🔴 Philippe Coutinho (35)
Only the two Steves ahead of England’s Player of the Year. pic.twitter.com/b0Gcai43NX
Few would have expected Jordan Henderson to excel in the No. 6 role for Liverpool in Fabinho’s absence. Sir Alex Ferguson famously passed up on the chance to sign Henderson when he noticed that “Henderson runs from his knees”. The Liverpool captain’s name is now being spoken of in the conversation for the PFA Player of the Year award. Kevin de Bruyne remains the favourite, but Jordan Henderson has been an enigma in the Liverpool midfield. There have been times that the Liverpool machine has looked like running out of steam in the dying minutes of a Premier League game. However, Jordan Henderson has, more often than not, summoned a burst of energy in those minutes to keep the Liverpool juggernaut going. It is no surprise, therefore, that Henderson is now a Champions League winner and is on course to lift a Premier League trophy which could, quite possibly, have the golden veneer of the Invincibles on it.