Ramsdale heroics not enough as Jones inspires Liverpool to stop the rot

Date published: Sunday 28th February 2021 9:04 - Steve Pearson

Curtis.Jones_.Liverpool.TEAMtalk

Curtis Jones provided a goal and an assist against Sheffield Utd to inspire Liverpool to victory and end their four-match losing streak in the league.

Seeking to capitalise on the Reds’ lack of confidence, Sheffield Utd came close to breaing the deadlock inside five minutes.

David McGoldrick met an inswinging free-kick to head goalward, but deputy goalkeeper Adrian was equal to task and beat the ball to safety.

LiverpoolΒ soon settled and should’ve taken the lead moments later through Roberto Firmino.

The Brazilian broke away after Ethan Ampadu lost out in the air to Sadio Mane. Aaron Ramsdale rushed out to meet the striker and made a vital stop with his legs to preserve the stalemate.

The visitors were in the ascendancy despite their wretched run of form, and came close to scoring when Curtis Jones forced a brave point-blank save from Ramsdale.

The under-fire goalkeeper was enjoying a stellar evening and was soon called upon twice more to deny Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Ozan Kabak’s blushes were then spared after the offside flag was raised seconds after accidentally bundling the ball past Adrian into his own net.

The one way traffic then resumed as half-time neared. Georginio Wijnaldum let fly from distance to bring Ramsdale’s save tally to five. Firmino latched on to the rebound but opted to pass when shooting seemed to all the wiser move.

Liverpool’s persistence finally paid off soon after the break when Curtis Jones neatly tucked home to make it 1-0.

Sheff Utd players complained that the ball had initially gone out of play before Alexander-Arnold’s cut-back, but a brief VAR check showed the whole of the ball had not crossed the line.

Chris Wilder shuffled his pack in search of an equaliser, and almost found it through Oli McBurnie.

The Scot evaded the attentions of both Liverpool centre-halves but powered his header wide of the mark.

That near-miss would prove crucial just after the hour mark when Firmino danced his way through the Blades backline to make it 2-0 via a deflection.

The fight seemed to drain out of the hosts, and two should’ve been made three as time ran down when Salah missed an open goal from point-blank range.

The cross from Robertson was perhaps a little heavy in truth, giving the Egyptian more work to do than should’ve been necessary from the golden opportunity.

It mattered not, however, as Liverpool would go on to secure a much needed confidence boosting win via a 2-0 scoreline.

 

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