The Reds are officially on a roll.
Liverpool extended its winning streak to four games Thursday with a 1-0 win over Rubin Kazan in the UEFA Europa League group stage. While winning sometimes paints a rosier picture of a game than a team’s performance warrants, this wasn’t one of those cases.
The victory was both comprehensive and deserved, as Jordon Ibe’s game-winning goal was only one of many chances the Reds had to score. That they earned such a result and performance 2,500 miles away from home adds extra significance to what history will record merely as a group-stage win over the 12th-place team in Russia’s Premier League.
Liverpool was the better team at Kazan Arena by a comfortable margin for all but the last 10 minutes. Ibe scored after 52 minutes, but Liverpool was capable of finding the opener from the second minute until the close to the last. Such was the scale of Liverpool’s dominance against a team which it played to a 1-1 draw just two weeks prior.
Jurgen Klopp took charge as Liverpool’s manager in early October during the previous international break. Liverpool’s winning streak clearly marks the improvement it has made in only one month and just six games under the German’s guidance.
The Reds play their next game Sunday against Crystal Palace at Anfield. A win over Crystal Palce will send them into the upcoming international break with both momentum and belief that it can earn a result in the following game at Manchester City on Nov. 21.
Such a result would stretch the Reds’ winning run to six games and fuel their pursuits for success — namely, a top-four finish in the Premier League, victory in the Capital One Cup, FA Cup or Europa League … or any and all of the above.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Liverpool’s win over Rubin Kazan moved it within one point of FC Sion for first place in Group B, and its prospect for advancing out of the group look good with two games remaining. Liverpool can book a place in the Round of 32 by beating Bordeaux on Nov. 26 at Anfield.
Club captain Jordan Henderson should return to action some time this month. Daniel Sturridge also could become available in that time frame. Their returns and any other surprise emergences into the ranks of Klopp’s dependable options only will make Liverpool more formidable going forward.
With that in mind, let’s consider Liverpool’s win over Rubin Kazan as a case of reality being more cause for encouragement than dreams themselves.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Squawka