Liverpool: Cody Gakpo & the front three finding form at key point in Reds’ season

Liverpool striker Cody Gakpo got on the scoresheet once more during his side’s unbelievable 7-0 demolition of Man United on Sunday. With this, the Dutchman may have signalled a turning point in his Anfield career.

Gakpo broke the deadlock between the two bitter rivals thanks to a beautifully composed finish toward the end of the first half. Then, within five minutes of the interval, the Liverpool forward had his second of the match.

After Mo Salah turned Lisandro Martinez inside-out, Gakpo produced a fantastic chip over David de Gea to make it 3-0.

Liverpool’s January signing thus has four goals in his last five league games – or four in his last four starts. This upturn in form is exactly what the Reds have been waiting for from Cody Gakpo, whose Liverpool career did not start quickly.

He had a rude awakening to English football in his Premier League debut when Jurgen Klopp’s side slid to a 3-0 defeat at Brighton. A series of blanks in FA Cup matches and more league fixtures meant that Gakpo was without a goal in six matches overall.

But this all changed with some tactical adjustments. He began to drop into a “false 9” role, linking up the play and getting on the ball more. The 23-year-old’s confidence grew, and he finally broke his duck with a goal in the Merseyside derby.

One match later, Cody Gakpo had his second Liverpool goal in a comfortable 2-0 win at Newcastle.

Overall, it appears that the Dutchman is settling in well at Anfield at just the right time. However, he is not the only man to re-discover his shooting boots…

Mo Salah breaks Liverpool PL scoring record

Following the World Cup break, Mo Salah experienced a barren run of goalscoring form. But, like Gakpo, he too has found the net four times in his last five league games.

The Egyptian King was also a key contributor to the Reds’ dismantling of Man United. Salah registered two goals and two assists, at times looking completely unplayable. In addition, he grabbed another Reds record.

Liverpool’s star man is now the Merseyside club’s all-time leading Premier League goal scorer, with 129 strikes. He overtook the previous leader, Robbie Fowler, thanks to his fabulous brace on Sunday afternoon.

But Darwin Nunez was not prepared to let Salah and Gakpo steal all the plaudits. Liverpool’s explosive Uruguayan talent got a pair of goals, too, via two great headers.

He now has three from his last four PL games, showcasing how the Reds’ revamped front three is finally clicking. Nunez is flying as he comes off the left wing, finding space in-behind that Gakpo leaves through his false 9 link-up play. If you add an in-form Salah to the mix, this attacking trio makes a daunting opponent.

For Jurgen Klopp, this is all coming together at just the right time. Throughout March and April, his side have some serious tests lying ahead.

The Reds’ upcoming fixtures

Next weekend sees Liverpool visit the south coast to face Bournemouth. Although they are mired in a relegation scrap, the Cherries have shown they can compete with the best. For instance, they were very unlucky to not take at least a point away from the Emirates this weekend.

Despite needing a win on Saturday, Klopp may still have half an eye on the Champions League second leg four days later. Yes, Liverpool have a near-impossible task to overcome Real Madrid. They must win by three goals at the Bernabeu to just force extra time.

That will not stop them from trying, though – especially after putting seven past Man United.

Thanks to the FA Cup and an international break, the Reds get some respite following the UCL. However, they will have a stern test when the Premier League resumes, as they travel to Man City on 1 April.

Three days later, a pivotal trip to Stamford Bridge could be another challenging occasion. Then, to wrap up a trio of crunch matches, the Reds host leaders Arsenal on 9 April.

This month of fixtures that lie ahead for Liverpool could prove key to their season. The race for the top four is anyone’s guess, with multiple teams – including the Reds – vying for the last spot.

It, therefore, appears that their attacking trio is hitting form at the right time. They will need to be at their best if Liverpool are to have any chance of success in their upcoming games.  

Featured image credit: Getty