Henderson issues Liverpool rallying cry for crunch Champions League clash
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Liverpool 5
Jordan Henderson wants Liverpool to take the momentum from their thumping win at Brighton into Wednesday’s crucial Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow.
The Reds host the Russians at Anfield needing a point to ensure qualification for the last 16.
They limbered up in fine style on the south coast, with a scintillating display from Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah sinking Brighton 5-1.
Emre Can headed them in front, Firmino capped flowing counter-attacks with the second and third before Coutinho’s cheeky free-kick flew under the Brighton wall and a Lewis Dunk own-goal completed the scoring.
Skipper Henderson was delighted with the performance and called for more of the same in midweek, especially from their fearsome threesome up front.
“It’s very pleasing,” Henderson said.
“Overall for 90 minutes we played very well, controlled the game with the ball, scored some brilliant goals and defensively I thought we were solid.
“It was a brilliant second goal on the counter-attack. The front three, Salah, Firmino and Coutinho — fantastic goals.
“So overall we’ve got to keep that going as a team. It’s a big game in midweek and we need to keep the momentum going.”
Brighton did have chances, with Simon Mignolet making a brilliant save to deny Glenn Murray at 2-0.
But in the end Chris Hughton’s side only had Murray’s penalty, after Henderson was adjudged to have fouled Shane Duffy, to show for their efforts.
“You have to give the goalkeeper some credit, he made some unbelievable saves,” said Seagulls defender Duffy.
“That’s the difference. They go straight up the other end and score.
“We knew it was going to be a tough task and that this game would test the group, but I’m sure we’ll get going again.”
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp (left) has, meanwhile, promised no let-up from his side.
“We need results,” he said. “It looks like we are flying, but unfortunately it’s not like that, we have to work really hard.
“In our calmer moments, we are a really good team, but we need to carry on. I’m much more interested in the next game. It’s important that it’s good because we need the points, we want to stay as close as possible to the teams in front of us.”
Injuries and illness had forced Klopp to play with two midfielders, Can and Georginio Wijnaldum, alongside his only fit centre-half, Dejan Lovren, in a makeshift back three.
But when the German has a front three in this kind of form, he could probably dispense with centre-backs altogether.
“We had big problems line-up wise,” added Klopp.
“But for this game today, the formation fitted really well. We needed to be patient and it’s good when you have this kind of quality.
“It’s always more difficult than 5-1 looks. It could have been different, but we won it and I think we deserved it.”