After winning just 2 of their last 8 games in all competitions, Liverpool were in desperate need of a victory and it couldn’t have come at a better time than last night.
The Reds welcomed bitter rivals Everton to Anfield with far more than 3 points at stake, and eventually picked up a 2-0 win.
Aside from earning their first Premier League victory of 2023, Liverpool also delivered a far more encouraging performance than they have in the past few months.
As of late, they’ve often looked ponderous and unexciting on the ball, while being slow and laboured off it.
But last night, they were far more assured all-round and there were glimpses of Jurgen Klopp’s World-beating Liverpool side that fans simply haven’t seen enough of this season.
Being a derby, proceedings were physical in nature, every duel was tightly-contested and the game had a nice momentum to it.
The first goal was a perfect reflection of this, it came after Everton rattled the post at one end, only for Liverpool to reply with a blistering counter-attack finished off by Mo Salah.
The Egyptian wasn’t the only key player that turned up for the all-important derby, as fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered an almost flawless display down the right-hand side.
During Liverpool’s recent slump, the England International had become a scapegoat for blame, with fans blaming his defensive frailties for far more than he was responsible for.
His attacking metrics this season have been similarly poor, the 24-year-old has picked up just one Premier League assist all year.
But last night, the fullback proved that he could still make a difference when required.
A look at stats tells us plenty about his all-around performance, TAA finished the game with a passing accuracy of 82% alongside 5/8 successful long balls.
On the defensive front, he racked up the most tackles in the entire game (5), while also winning 6/9 ground duels.
His signature long passes seemed to find the target more often than not, and he even provided the sumptuous final ball for Cody Gakpo’s debut goal.
The fullback struck a delightfully weighted cross which slid in between Mykolenko’s legs and eventually found its way to Gakpo, who simply had to tap it home.
The 24-year-old has been the subject of plenty of trolling following his lacklustre form, but last night’s display was a fitting reminder that Trent is still among the best fullbacks in the league.
After a difficult few months, a performance like last night’s was exactly what TAA needed to get his confidence back up, and fans will be hoping that his season turns around from this point forward.