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Pundit’s Choice: Liverpool’s title challenge

Pundit’s Choice: Liverpool’s title challenge

Liverpool supporters have been reasonably satisfied in recent times after seeing their side maintain their impressive unbeaten start to the new Premier League season.

Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their encounter with in-form Arsenal having won eight and drawn the other two of their opening ten league matches, and thus full of confidence ahead of their trip to North London. And the Merseysiders returned to the North West with a point from proceedings as an Alexandre Lacazette strike cancelled out James Milner’s opener to secure a 1-1 draw for Unai Emery’s Gunners, a result which saw the Reds fall two points behind leaders Manchester City after they thumped Southampton 6-1 on Sunday.

Nonetheless, there have been many satisfied Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who has a clear message for some Reds supporters following their reaction to dropping points at the weekend, namely: ‘Relax’.

And given they are just two points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s men, and they themselves have made an excellent start to the new season, Carragher is absolutely right to call for calm among supporters given there is still a long way to go in the title race.

Yes, manager Klopp and his team will likely be disappointed to concede late on and thus drop two points against Emery’s Gunners on Saturday, but given the form Arsenal have been in in recent times, a point really isn’t a bad result for the Merseysiders, not least because it preserved their unbeaten start to the campaign.

But the Reds can reflect on an outstanding start to the new season in winning eight and drawing three of their opening 11 matches – compare this to this time last term, and the Merseyside giants were already out of the title race having won just five and losing two of their first 11 games.

Significantly, one could argue that the Reds haven’t really got going yet either, what with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in particular having yet to really hit top form, while Naby Keita’s fine start has somewhat slowed down in the past few weeks – thus, Klopp’s side can surely only get better.

The difference this season is that they have kept the clean sheets when they have needed to, with 1-0 wins over Brighton and Huddersfield Town indicative of a side not firing on all cylinders, but one that is very tough to break down and thus beat – they have won games this term without sweeping everybody aside.

And that must be a good sign for Liverpool fans that their side can certainly still improve, and that they are still only two points behind leaders City, who they could leapfrog into top spot next Sunday when they host Fulham prior to City’s derby with neighbours Manchester United – it is still very close.

Yes, there is no doubting that Guardiola’s men look very strong and are perhaps a better side than Klopp’s men, as Carragher points out, but Liverpool are right there, and have shown already this term that they will be very difficult to shake off – they are defensively much stronger, and have won games this season that they may not have won in years gone by.

As such, Carragher is spot on to call for those Liverpool fans overreacting to Saturday’s draw to ‘relax’, as their side are in very good shape ahead of what should be a fascinating title tussle with Guardiola’s City.

Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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