Liverpool cruised to a 4-1 win over Cardiff City at Anfield to continue their unbeaten streak in the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp raised plenty of eyebrows with his team selection, the German choosing to rest a number of key players despite no real fixture congestion. Alberto Moreno replaced Andy Robertson in defence with Dejan Lovren coming in for Joe Gomez at centre-back. Surprisingly, Klopp opted to leave summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri on the bench with Adam Lallana taking his place in the starting eleven.
The former Southampton man has been riddled with injuries during the last year and lost his place in the first-team. Now on the comeback trail, he was given a chance to stake his claim for increased playing time against the Bluebirds. However, the former England international constantly gave the ball away and looked off the pace before being substituted for Shaqiri late in the second half.
Following Shaqiri’s arrival, Liverpool looked like a different side. The Swiss international’s trickery on the ball, as well as his willingness to run at his man completing opened up Cardiff and the goals, started to flow. The former Stoke City player looked dangerous every time he was on the ball and helped secure Liverpool’s lead with an excellent finish – his first Premier League goal for the Reds.
With a tough away visit to Arsenal next week, Klopp needs to ensure Shaqiri, not Lallana, is in the starting eleven. The Gunners are in tremendous form, and Liverpool will have to be at their best to come away with a result against Unai Emery’s men. Shaqiri gives Liverpool an edge that they have lacked at times throughout the season – he must start at the Emirates.
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