Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat of Atalanta on Tuesday night was not only the biggest ever away win for an English team in Italy, but it also marked the first time in Red Devils history. Win all first three matches in the Champions Group Stage tournament.
In their first season back under Jurgen Klopp 2017/18, they drew 2-2 with Sevilla in their first match, before topping the group with 12 points.
In the 2018/19 season, Liverpool beat PSG 3-2 thanks to Roberto Firmino’s late strike at Anfield on the first day.
But losing to Napoli, by a single goal by Lorenzo Insigne, stumbled upon them, eventually needing to beat the Italians on Friday by the same score to move on.
Last year, they lost 2-0 to Napoli in their opening game, before beating Red Bull Salzburg 4-3 and then Genk 4-1.
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However, in Bergamo, there was no sign of slipping like Diogo Jota et al. riot against Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, with Liverpool having beaten Ajax and FC Midtjylland.
In a season with fast and dense matches, passing games to spare could only be seen as a significant advantage.
On the Podcast after Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Atalanta, Steve Dawson said: “This result doesn’t just help Liverpool to top the group with maximum points.
“That means they’ll be in much better form on a tight November and December schedule.
“Klopp will be able to give the players a break from the start for at least two of the remaining three games, and that will be very good for a good Premier League. Liverpool are in really good shape.”
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Liverpool face Atalanta next in the group as they host the Italians on English soil. Win that match, and regardless of the outcome in the match between Ajax and Midtjylland, Klopp’s men will reach the knockout round with the remaining two matches.
The first of them, against Ajax, was in the midst of the league’s key games against Brighton and Wolves, while the second, against Midtjylland, was between Wolves and Fulham.
Liverpool are expected to win the maximum points in all those Premier League matches, but keeping the players fresh and possibly changing their knowledge of a position is guaranteed. The knockout qualifier could only be a boon.
For the first time, not only under Klopp, but in their history, Liverpool can have that luxury.