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Coutinho, Firmino, Mane, Lallana etc…Why Klopp has an embarrassment of riches at Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have scored 14 goals in their past four matches, and 24 for the season thus far.

They plundered four against reigning champions Leicester City in the Premier League a fortnight ago, backed that up with two in the first half against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, before putting Derby County to the sword with a trio of goals in the EFL Cup midweek.

All of those were fairly strong performances.

On the weekend, the Reds blitzed Hull City 5-1 and even though four of their goals came after the Tigers had Ahmed Elmohamday sent off, they were completely dominant.

The statistics show they had 12 shots on target for a total of 21 attempts. Now that's controlling the situation.

For the opening goal, James Milner slipped in Philippe Coutinho who feigned away from Ryan Mason before playing a neat little ball to Adam Lallana, who took a touch and fired home with his left foot.

It was clinical.

While the second goal came with a slight element of luck, the move that saw Sadio Mane released down the right, before teeing up Coutinho, was full of attacking desire.

James Milner stepping up from his role at left-back to fire beyond David Marshall from the spot, after Elmohamady's handball, is a nice luxury for the Reds.

The third goal was efficiency at it's best, yet again.

Lallana produced a classy turn and lay-off for Mane, who despite taking a heavy first touch, recovered instantly to rifle home on the turn.

The calmness of the finish even had Klopp showing somewhat of a startled look.

The goal for 4-1 was simply stunning from Coutinho as the Brazilian picked up a ball from Lallana and dipped home a 20-yard effort with consummate ease.

It is not the first time the talented and constantly improving playmaker has delivered such a treat and it certainly won't be the last.

After putting four goals away, Klopp was then able to fall back on Daniel Sturridge, who replaced Lallana, and the injury-prone yet quality attacker attracted a foul from Andrew Robertson in the area which allowed Milner to again convert from the spot.

The performance of the Merseyside club's forward line shows that things are only continuing to get better under the guidance of their influential German.

Look at their goals in previous matches.

Coutinho and Roberto Firmino combining before the former supplied Divock Origi at Derby following centre-half Ragnar Klavern's opener.

Budding superstar Coutinho had a hand in Dejan Lovren's opener at Stamford Bridge before captain Jordan Henderson got in on the act.

At Anfield against Leicester, the goalscorers were Firmino, Mane, Milner, Lallana and Firmino (again). The assist-makers were Milner, Sturridge, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mane.

Do you see a pattern forming here?

Generally it is the same names that are doing the damage.

But this is not to say that Liverpool will rely on the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Mane, Milner, Lallana, Henderson and Wijnaldum to create and score throughout the campaign.

There's plenty of support in the form of Sturridge, who was their number one only a season or two ago, the returning Danny Ings who is fully fit again and Origi, while midfielders Emre Can, captain Jordan Henderson, the experienced and versatile Lucas Leiva and a number of promising youngsters have the squad from forward of defence in fairly decent shape.

Look back even to the 5-0 demolition of Burton Albion in the League Cup.

Goals: Origi, Firmino, Sturridge (x2) and an own-goal. Assists: Mane (x2), Nathaniel Clyne, Milner.

The 4-3 season-opening victory at Arsenal had Coutinho beating Petr Cech on two occasions, Lallana and Mane once each, while Wijnaldum, Clyne and Lallana were gleefully assisting.

The trend endures.

The 2-0 defeat at Burnley is clearly an aberration. All sides have them. So don't worry about that one Reds faithful.

The following stats, thanks to Opta, show that Klopp's pressing style and attacking game plan is starting to pay sweet, sweet dividends.

While £34million summer signing Mane, who I admit I had reservations about before the season started, is going a fair way to vindicating the questionable price tag.

It may appear as though Pep Guardiola has Manchester City up and running in potentially title-winning fashion, but one thing is for sure, Klopp is never scared of taking on the 'big boys'.

While it may seem odd mentioning City as the more formidable club in this particular scenario, you cannot argue with the fact that the premiership is there for the taking for Guardiola's charges.

But Klopp, with his attack-minded and big-game approach, will take it up to City just as he did to Bayern Munich when at the helm of Borussia Dortmund.

Those Bundesliga-winning sides at Dortmund had a decent array of goalscoring activity with Lucas Barrios (16), Robert Lewandowski and Shinji Kagawa (8), Mario Gotze and Nuri Sahin (6) and Mats Hummels (5) doing the damage in 2011.

While the 2012 team revolved more around Lewandowski (22); there was vital input from Kagawa (13), Ivan Perisic and Kevin Grosskreutz (7), Gotze and Jakub Blaszczykowski (6) and Barrios (4).

I'm not saying Liverpool will secure their first ever Premier League title in 2016/17, but Klopp certainly has them in with a genuine chance of applying an enormous amount of pressure on early champions-elect City while making themselves a menace for the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

What I can say, though, is if you are a Reds fan, or a mere neutral, there is certain to be a plethora of easy-watching football ahead as Liverpool strive to return to former glories with a passionate manager who has at his disposal a multitude of deftly skilled attacking midfielders, wingers and forwards who thrive on a creative, free-flowing and an acutely attacking system.

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

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