Reds in review: November – Salah scoring, madness in midfield and useless in Europe

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By Aaron Olsen – @AO_GoLong13

Where do we even begin with this month?

As November reached its climax, Liverpool sit only two points behind an all-conquering Manchester City in the Premier League in the race for the elusive title.

On the continental side, we’ve backed ourselves into a corner to deliver in the last matchday in the Champions League or suffer Europa League Thursday nights. The theme of this month really comes down to inconsistency and the lack of speed in midfield.

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

As November began and Liverpool travelled to the Emirates, we finally we saw a Liverpool side create chances and play a better counter attacking football.

Chances were there for both sides, and Liverpool failed to capitalise on their pressure in the last 20 minutes of the first half. Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk spurned chances that could have put the Reds ahead.

Finally in the second half, after Sadio Mane was awarded a penalty, vice-captain James Milner converted from the spot 61 minutes in.

After van Dijk’s open header in the 74th minute was saved by Bernd Leno, thoughts of a possible Arsenal comeback started to creep in. Unai Emery’s three offensive substitutes proved to turn the match around as Alexandre Lacazette’s curler equalised the game in the 82nd minute.

Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liverpool

When it came to the Champions League match against Red Star Belgrade, many fans were sure the three points were won before the match kicked off. A victory would have put Liverpool in the drivers seat to enter the knockout stages.

A much-changed Liverpool side looked lethargic and struggled to form much of an attack, whereby their lack of quality was deservedly punished by the dogged Serbians, with the clinical Milan Pavkov putting the Reds to the sword.

A highly embarrassing result, and one that may well derail any ambitions Liverpool have of progressing further in Europe. Well, in the Champions League, at least – as the Reds stare gloomily down the barrel of a very unattractive looking, Europa League shaped gun.

Liverpool 2-0 Fulham

Fulham came to Anfield as massive underdogs as a wounded Liverpool looked to bounce back with a win and keep pace with Manchester City. Fulham started brightly as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a disallowed goal, from which Liverpool smartly countered and opened their account for the day as Mohamed Salah shot past Sergio Rico.

Soon after, Xherdan Shaqiri’s beautifully controlled volley put the Reds two up and broke the Cottagers resolve. The performance in the second half was night and day compared to the first, and felt like a return to form for Liverpool’s maligned attack.

Watford 0-3 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s men kept up their Premier League unbeaten streak with a comprehensive win over Watford at Vicarage Road. All of the goals came in the second half, with Mohamed Salah keeping up his scoring run, Trent Alexander-Arnold netting a wonderful free-kick as well as a return to the scoresheet for Roberto Firmino.

The only blot on an otherwise perfect checksheet for Liverpool was a sending off for Jordan Henderson, who picked up a second yellow card and will subsequently serve a ban.

PSG 2-1 Liverpool

Liverpool’s final game in November came in the Champions League, and at the Parc Des Princes against Paris Saint Germain, no less. A crucial match that was pivotal in the race for qualification for the Champions League, anything less than a win would prove to be a disaster for Liverpool.

And a disaster it proved to be as the Reds found themselves trailing the Parisians by two goals to nothing courtesy of Juan Bernat an Neymar. James Milner salvaged Liverpool some dignity as he converted a penalty that catapulted Jurgen Klopp’s men into life, but it all proved to be too little too late as PSG remained resolute and ensured there would be no happy scousers in Paris.

Therefore, this has left Liverpool absolutely requiring a win over Napoli by at least two clear goals at Anfield in order to secure passage to the next round of the competition.

Player of the month: Andy Robertson

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