Football News

Liverpool re-establish ‘mentality monsters’ tag after latest Premier League come from behind win

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:30, 2 April 2024

Jurgen Klopp says he is not taking Liverpool snatching wins from the jaws of defeat for granted.

In yet another display of the Reds’ powers of recovery, they came from a goal down against Brighton to run out 2-1 winners. Arsenal then dropping points at Manchester City later that day means they now lead the Premier League title race.

With each side having nine matches to play, Liverpool are two in front of the Gunners, with Pep Guardiola’s defending champions a point further back.

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It would be an understatement to say Klopp’s men are not making it easier for themselves. For the 14th time during this long season, they had found themselves behind, on this occasion, Danny Welbeck netting for Brighton after just 87 seconds in this match; the quickest a visiting side had gone 1-0 up at Anfield in the Premier League since Tottenham Hotspur in October 2019 (Harry Kane goal after 47 seconds).

A stunned Anfield would eventually witness the men in red win a Premier League match they had trailed in for a seventh time this season, now their most comeback victories in a single campaign. Furthermore, no team in England’s top division has accumulated more points from a losing position than Liverpool, whose 26 points are also their most picked up in a single Premier League year.

“It’s all about reacting,” Klopp said regarding his side’s remarkable record at coming from behind in games.

“If we’ve learned something this year, it’s that we can do these things [come back to win]. I don’t take it for granted. I would prefer to be 3-0 up and then 7-0 after 85 minutes. Then I would calm down, but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen.”

Breaking those seven wins down: Liverpool conceded first in six of those, with their seven-goal thriller at home against Fulham being the exception when the visitors went 3-2 in front through Bobby De Cordova-Reid before Wataru Endo and Trent Alexander-Arnold struck in the 87th and 88th minute, respectively, to blow the Anfield roof off (if it had one).

Five remaining games saw Liverpool come back to share the spoils. Two of these came at Man City’s expense, and another was on home soil against Arsenal.

Liverpool’s come-from-behind wins

  • 19 August 2023: Liverpool 3-1 Bournemouth
  • 27 August 2023: Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool
  • 16 September 2023: Wolves 1-3 Liverpool
  • 3 December 2023: Liverpool 4-3 Fulham
  • 9 December 2023: Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
  • 21 February 2024: Liverpool 4-1 Luton
  • 31 March 2024: Liverpool 2-1 Brighton

The soon-do-depart German tactician had coined his players “mentality monsters” in the final weeks of a 2018-19 campaign that saw them lose just once in the Premier League, push Manchester City to the very end in an exhilarating title race, and overturn a 3-0 semi-final first-leg deficit against Barcelona en route to winning the club’s sixth European Cup.

If anything, this never-say-die attitude and knack for scoring in the unlikeliest of situations during what legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson once dubbed ‘squeaky bum time’ — or the final moments of a season — will hold Liverpool in good stead from now on.

Of their remaining fixtures, the average position of those clubs is 10.44, which is slightly better than Man City’s opponents (10.44), while Arsenal has a tad favourable run-in (10.22). Among the potential banana skins are visits to Man Utd, West Ham and Aston Villa, with a Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park thrown in for good measure. Tottenham will journey to Anfield in Klopp’s penultimate home Premier League game.