Liverpool’s gleam and silver lining may have been overwhelmed in rust in recent weeks, but there have been positive signs which suggest they will not be down for long.
Two goals in five minutes courtesy of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane secured a magnificent 2-0 first-leg away victory against RB Leipzig and put the Reds firmly in the driving seat in the Round of 16 Champions League tie.
It was a victory that oozed class, experience and tactical genius which could breathe new life into a season which has been nothing short of tumultuous at times.
However, Reds fans also had new reason to feel excited in the excellent form of another player donning the red and white – but not of Liverpool.
Takumi Minamino was a surprise deadline day loan signing for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton side and the Japanese star has impressed in his time at St Mary’s.
The attacking midfielder, who was signed from RB Salzburg for £7.25 million in December 2019, scored an impressive goal in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea, showing great composure to sit both Edouard Mendy and Cesar Azpilicueta down with a dummy, before passing into an empty net.
Arsene Wenger also heaped praise on the Japanese star and his performance against the Blues, describing him as an ‘artist’.
“This guy is an artist in his mind” said the former Arsenal manager who is now working as a pundit for beIN sports.
“What is very interesting for the strikers to watch is the number of times Minamino lifts his head to see where the keeper is.
“You see twice, clearly, that he lifts his head and then, after, in the composure situation, he’s composed despite the fact Southampton are under huge pressure.”
If he keeps doing the business for the Saints, then a greater role in Jurgen Klopp’s plans may not be too far away.