Liverpool supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their team record a ninth straight Premier League victory over the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their encounter with Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday having seized the initiative in the title race with six successive league wins during December, with nearest rivals Manchester City losing on three occasions during that time. And the Reds remain seven points clear at the summit of the division after easing past Unai Emery’s Gunners 5-1 at the weekend, with a hat-trick from Roberto Firmino alongside strikes from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah inspiring Klopp’s side to a 17th win of the season.
Thus, there have been many delighted Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have unsurprisingly been raving about Brazil international Firmino, who netted his first treble in a Liverpool shirt to help his side comfortably dispatch of Emery’s side on Saturday.
In fact, that trio took Firmino’s tally to nine goals in all competitions this term to again suggest that he is on course for another impressive campaign in front of goal, although it was the display of midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who earns £90,000 a week as per Spotrac, which meant he was the real hero in the Reds’ thumping win on Saturday.
The Netherlands international has been something of an unsung hero in this Liverpool team for some time now given the attacking endeavours of messrs Firmino, Mane, and Salah, with Saturday Wijnaldum’s 19th league appearance of the season to underline just how integral he is to Klopp’s side.
And that was none-more-so evident than against Arsenal on Saturday as the Dutchman ran the show in the middle of the park, with the former Newcastle United man finishing the clash with a very healthy pass success rate of 87%, which was better than fellow holding midfielder Fabinho (76%) (as per WhoScored).
And in completing three dribbles over the course of his 78 minutes on the pitch, the 28-year-old certainly did his bit carrying the Reds forward and getting them on the front foot – after all, they did fall behind to Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ opener at Anfield.
But it wasn’t just on the ball in which Wijnaldum proved his worth, he did so off it as well by winning one aerial duel and all three tackles he attempted – he broke things up excellently in the middle of the park to help Liverpool dominate that area of the field.
So while Firmino will earn plenty of plaudits for an outstanding hat-trick on Saturday, it was 28-year-old Wijnaldum who was the real hero in Liverpool’s thumping win over Arsenal.
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