During half-time of Liverpool’s clash against Cardiff City on Sunday, one would have expected nerves in the Reds’ dressing room to have been sky high.
The scores were agonizingly tied at zero, with Liverpool desperately needing a win to stay in the title race. Cardiff, on the other hand, were fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Premier League.
But when other sides may have wilted under the pressure, Liverpool rose to the occasion and devised a plot to propel their side to victory.
In Jurgen Klopp’s post-match press conference, he revealed that his players composed the set-piece routine that would win them the match during the half-time interval.
“We used a set-piece in a fantastic way, the boys were so smart, they used the experience from the first half from a corner,” Klopp told the Guardian. “It’s not from the training ground; it’s from the dressing room at half-time, when the boys decided to do that. I love that.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped in a fierce ball from a corner, which Gini Wijnaldum met with the perfect connection.
Wijnaldum’s run was excellent and left him with ample space to curl his right foot around the bouncing service and whip a venomous half-volley past Neil Etheridge in the Cardiff goal.
A tremendous goal — and Klopp’s admission made it even more special.
Although the set-piece routine that was created on the fly may appear a minor development, it reveals the superb cohesion and team spirit that this Liverpool team possess.
In the competitive title race with Manchester City, Liverpool have stuck around all season and appear poised to bring the fight until the last day of the season.
And if the Reds do lift their first Premier League trophy this year, it will be because of ingenious moments like the improvised corner against Cardiff.