Liverpool They knew before the World Cup that it was not possible to continue their European adventures. It wasn’t that Real Madrid were infallible or that the Reds had lost to them in the last minute. Champions League finale only months ago, but more real Jurgen Klopp‘s side was in turmoil, struggling to find consistency, and had major and regular defensive concerns.

It would be a big task to beat the Spanish side on two legs, which is just Empowered by Karim Benzema and Co, who produced the second half masterclass at Anfield in the first place.

Klopp will say his team should try and he’s right, but it’s been clear and for some time Liverpool’s biggest hope for next season’s Champions League game will come via a good enough recovery at home to warrant another top. – finish four Premier League.

After losing 3-0 to the Wolves in early February, this seemed like a vain hope; With a single win in seven games against the same opponent in the FA Cup replay, it left the Reds 10th on the table and one of their worst performances in the manager’s entire tenure.

However, there has been a change since then. Liverpool found a way to play again, not just offensively – which was much better after all. The complete dissolution of Sunday’s 7-0 Man United – but also on the defensive. Despite the headline side of the scoreline, it’s the blank side that provides the real reason for Klopp and his team to think they can make a top-four claim.

There are currently five Premier League games in a row for the Reds and no conceding goals in each of them.

They also completed all five league games undefeated for the first time this season; It’s no coincidence that they happen at the same time.

Despite taking their chances – carpentry interfering with Newcastle and Alisson Becker was called more than it should have relieved Virgil van Dijk and his partners – but overall the approach to the ball has been significantly and consistently improved.

Of course, if you’re scoring seven goals in a match then keeping a clean slate isn’t entirely mandatory. But the humiliation of its biggest rivals will be seen as a one-off; This is clean sheets, not as brutal clinical finishing as in a game that could be repeated over a longer period of time.

In this regard, individuals helped. Ibrahima Konate is easily the most consistent and best long-term solution for Van Dijk as a partner. Stefan Bajcetic, who is on the bench against United, is a good addition to the line-up due to his defensive skills, while Fabinho’s recent return to form is huge in this respect.

However, team performance and his approach to moments in off-the-ball matches contribute much more to this.

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There’s better pressure on the ball, a more cohesive arrangement in the middle of the court, and much, much more energy in matches across the team.

United were not able to cope with this incident, while Liverpool kept their defensive intensity and allowed them to continue with points.

They were tenth after the wolves. They finished fourth after the Wolves by 11 points.

They haven’t conceded in league games since then, only one out of five and have moved up to fifth place – with only three points from Tottenham at the moment and a game ahead.

Liverpool can’t claim to be “back” and they won’t be bothered by such talk. But that’s how they will be when championships come back into their eyes, and it won’t be this season.

However, they can certainly reclaim enough ground and play in the remaining 13 fixtures to ensure they finish the campaign in the top four once again and return to the Champions League.

And while they want Mohamed Salah to return to his best form and keep football free flowing offensively, it will be the defensive consistency they think they can show that will get them there.