The Warm Down: Reds rekindle attacking mojo as Klopp unleashes fresh dynamic
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The Warm Down: Reds rekindle attacking mojo as Klopp unleashes fresh dynamic

Liverpool ran out 4-0 winners against Red Star Belgrade at Anfield on Wednesday night as Jürgen Klopp's side finally rediscovered their ruthlessness in front of goal 

Joshua Kerr

Wednesday night was a match in which Anfield for a moment lost its electricity off the field but was emphatically rediscovered on the pitch at breakneck speed as Liverpool well and truly lit up Merseyside on another special European evening.

Their Napoli woes were put to bed and their Champions League campaign firmly back on track as the Reds outclassed Red Star Belgrade to move to the summit of Group C.

Arguably since the opening day against West Ham UnitedJürgen Klopp has been waiting to release the handbrake on his attacking prowess and finally, the Kopites were reminded of the swagger and class similarly shown in Europe last season.

The Reds exuded quality and control from start to finish with a swagger and fluency that has been missing in recent performances and hopefully it can be a sign of things to come.

Klopp's side's performance was further lifted by Paris Saint Germain's 2-2 draw with Napoli to ensure Liverpool returned to the top of the group following their disappointing defeat in Naples.

Another record for indispensable Salah

It was also the first time since the semi-final thrashing of Roma that the Reds 'fab three' were all on the scoresheet in what was an evening that nullified tiny reminders of why the Reds propelled themselves all the way to Kiev last campaign.

Mohamed Salah broke yet another record on his magnificent Merseyside journey as the Egyptian became the quickest player in the clubs history to reach a half-century of goals - coming on his 65th appearance.

Roberto Firmino went six games without a goal, with Sadio Mane failing to fire from seven; however, both demonstrated in their celebrations the importance of getting the monkey off their goalscoring backs with their goals tonight.

Newfound creative spark

Liverpool's front three have all undoubtedly suffered a blip of form in recent weeks and tonight was evident of what the Reds have been missing in recent weeks as Klopp finally unleashed his latest creative spark.

Xherdan Shaqiri was a menace from the opening minute until he was substituted to a standing ovation from the entirety of the Anfield crowd. 

His quick feet bewildered the Red Star defence and his vision opened countless holes for his teammates to exploit. He was a joy to watch on the night and at £13 million, it's fair to say the Swiss international has already proved a real bargain.

Tonight was the first real example of Klopp being able to swank his extravagant summer signings and one particular Brazilian didn't shy from the pressure of fulfilling a large chunk of those hefty price tags. 

Any shortage of power in the Anfield main stand was electrified in the middle of the park as Fabinho excelled in the absence of Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson.

The £40 million summer signing from Monaco excelled just two days following his 25th birthday and tonight was a huge step forward for the Brazil International.

Fabinho incredibly won 75% of his 24 duels, completed 20 attacking third passes (joint-most with Georginio Wijnaldum) and was top of the piles for tackles with a whopping nine from nine.

Joe Gomez continued to demonstrate his importance to his side and also once again showed why he has arguably been the Reds most consistent performer all season.

The Englishman's tenacity not only helped create the Reds opener but his decision making and ability to cover back runners were also matched by his aerial dominance and strength in the challenge. An unobtrusively brilliant performance.

A sign of things to come?

Tougher tests will undoubtedly lie ahead for the Reds, but tonight exemplified Liverpool no longer making bad habits of beating limited opposition in gruelling matches.

Any attempts from the Serbian champions to repeat the heroics of their 1973 previous Anfield upset never looked possible despite the visitors frustrating Klopp's side in the opening 20 minutes.

Klopp's early decision to switch to a 4-2-3-1 with Salah the central focal point paid dividends as the German's tactical thinking finally allowed his team to penetrate area's that the visitors couldn't cope with.

Similarly to Huddersfield, the Reds needed a sprinkle of magic from somewhere and it was once again Shaqiri who delivered the remedy for his team.

The former Potter won possession back for his Reds side before unleashing Andy Robertson with a crisp perfectly timed pass. The Scotsman needed no second invitation before teeing up Firmino who beat his man before thundering in the opener.

Space suddenly opened up for Klopp's side and Liverpool smelt blood. The hosts began to play with more freedom and the ever so reliable Wijnaldum was able to dance around the pitch stamping his authority on the contest.

It was the Dutchman who orchestrated the opening pass for the second goal as Wijnaldum looped a pass into the path of Shaqiri before the Swiss maestro played a deft touch into Salah who finished devastatingly with his right to double the advantage.

Two soft penalties, however, went in the host's favour with Salah striking one before goalkeeper Borjan heroically denied Mane with a stunning save.  

Daniel Sturridge came on to quickly turn Mane's misfortunes into delight as the English striker unselfishly teed up his teammate for the fourth and rounded off a resounding performance and result from the rejuvenated Reds.

It was the first real performance that mirrored the Liverpool of last season and yet it still feels like Klopp's side have a few gears to go until they reach the devastating form that saw them reach the final in May.

Perhaps a promising sign of better things to come, this European night could prove to be the catalyst that encouraged the Reds to rediscover their best form as well as allow Klopp to offer his Kopites a fresh dynamic for the future.