It goes without saying that Liverpool cannot afford to replicate last week’s lifeless performance against Southampton when they face West Ham on Sunday.
The London Stadium will play stage to what now appears a season-defining game for Jurgen Klopp’s men as they look to consolidate a top four spot.
Two wins from their final two games will guarantee Liverpool Champions League football next season and they must first overcome a West Ham side full of confidence after their recent 1-0 win over Tottenham, before hosting relegated Middlesbrough on the final day.
Defender Joel Matip is keen to see his team build on what was an uninspiring attacking display against a deep-lying defence last time out.
“This is always hard if a team stands with nine or 10 players in front of the goal. It is even hard if there are only six, but 10 it was really tough and hard. Maybe with a little bit of luck next time, and with a little bit more practice, next time we will have more solutions for this,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Maybe they [West Ham] will play similarly, but it’s not that over the 90 minutes Southampton were sure they would not concede a goal. We will see and we will do our best; it doesn’t matter how the other team plays.”
A place in Europe’s elite tournament beckons and Liverpool must re-establish the intensity and the fluidity that saw them enjoy such an impressive start to the campaign.
West Ham will inevitably sit deep at times having seen how much success other teams have had by deploying such a tactic but they will by no means be as unadventurous as Southampton. This doesn’t just reaffirm the importance of being solid at the back but it hints at Liverpool’s attacking stars being granted more space to work in.
There are no excuses for a slow start, a lack of aggression or a lack of desire. See this through, Reds.