In these uncertain times, there is comforting consolation for Jürgen Klopp.
Liverpool can always count on Jordan Henderson.
Not for the first time, the skipper decided to take matters into his own hands as the Reds, obviously annoyed by their recent VAR-induced setback, struggled to regain their composure as the game neared halftime.
Henderson drove his team on, picking up the ball through the inside right channel and rolling a striking cross that eventually resulted in Roberto Firmino leveling.
Ultimately, it was a post that could easily be overlooked.
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But it was a perfect example of how Henderson remains the heartbeat of this team, a true captain. No wonder Klopp calls him his “general”, leadership qualities that Liverpool will rely on even more when Virgil van Dijk is absent.
The midfielder made it to Ajax mid-week and emerged from the bench to give Liverpool a crucial win in their Champions League group opener.
And only David Coote’s computer leads prevented him from scoring a dramatic late winner at Everton last weekend.
After Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita joined Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the sidelines, James Milner was exhausted after his efforts on Wednesday and Fabinho in defense, Henderson only had the choice of carrying the load in the engine room alongside Gini Wijnaldum.
It’s the kind of situation the captain – scrapped, struggling, and on the forefoot – continues to indulge.
Alisson reassures as Gomez grows
There is only one problem with having the best player in the world in his position.
By definition, things aren’t quite the same when they’re not there.
After likely losing Van Dijk for the rest of the season, Alisson Becker’s surprise return was a big boost for Liverpool.
Alisson’s shoulder problem only kept him away for three games.
But it says a lot about the difference he makes that it felt longer, especially when Van Dijk was hit.
Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United
The Brazilian showed no permanent injury on his return, which was crucial to Sheffield United’s aerial threat, although he got away with one of them shortly after the break after being in possession a little too long and getting closer to Oliver Burke.
Had Adrian done that, it might have caused discomfort in the Reds defense.
Instead, Liverpool didn’t flinch. The new center-back pairing of Joe Gomez and Fabinho overcame an idiosyncratic first half with impressive stoic resistance as the guests increased the pressure in the final quarter.
If Fabinho was the standout player in Holland three days earlier, this time it was Gomez.
It will take time and effort, but a new partnership could emerge.
Brewster’s strange dream
Rhian Brewster would have long dreamed of making his full Premier League debut at Anfield.
But those golden slumber certainly did not picture him against Liverpool.
Almost three and a half years since Brewster was first named for a top game on the bench, Brewster finally got a start in the Premier League after joining Sheffield United earlier this month for an initial £ 23million.
Klopp, who was undoubtedly aware of the impending danger, could not have been more complementary to the striker before the game, even if he saw him as “our boy” before correcting himself.
Brewster was a popular presence at the club, whose misfortune of missing more than a year of key development was puzzled by the continued formidable form of the other Liverpool attackers.
Gomez and Fabinho would have known what to expect from the 20-year-old, who was just about to break through with the Reds in August.
It was a quiet outing for Brewster who couldn’t make much impression before being withdrawn after 54 minutes.
With their journey to the Premier League just beginning, Liverpool’s commanding Anfield form continues, just one game away from the club’s record of 63 straight unbeaten home league games.
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