Winning ugly forms a big part of any successful domestic campaign as many a title-winner will attest.
Liverpool certainly didn’t seem deserved winners against Leicester on the balance of play and Trent Alexander-Arnold pointed to a near-fatal lack of intensity as an explanation behind the Reds’ poor early start.
“I think we definitely pride ourselves on our intensity, especially in the first 15 or 20 minutes, and that just wasn’t there today at all, to be honest,” the England international told liverpoolfc.com.
“It was a slow, lethargic start to the game, the intensity wasn’t there, that’s what we are good at and we just haven’t brought that today.
“So, it’s one we need to think about as to why that’s happened, but no excuses. We got the three points in the end.”
Given how much Pep Lijnders (and Jurgen Klopp) value the power of ‘intensity’ (incidentally, the title of the Dutchman’s book account of the 2021/22 quadruple attempt), it’s an admission that won’t please the assistant coach.
Still, with the lion’s share of the points taken from the maximum available since the return of domestic action, we’ve built ourselves a strong early platform of results.
We’ve no doubt defensive solidity will be aided by the return of Fabinho – who was absent against Brendan Rodgers’ men due to the birth of his child – to the No.6 role, a position Jordan Henderson struggled to deputise.
Ultimately, it should highlight the clear need for a fresh pair of legs to be brought in in January, though it remains to be seen whether our recruitment team will act beyond the addition of Cody Gakpo.