Lost, amid the sublime composure of £75 million Virgil van Dijk, the fan-pleasing marauding runs of full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson and the promise of Joe Gomez, stands Joel Matip, the forgotten centre-half who may have as big a say in tomorrow’s Champions League Final as any Liverpool star.
It may not have been quite as dramatic or memorable as that Steven Gerrard goal almost 14 years ago to the day but, as Mohamed Salah clinched Liverpool’s place in the Champions League knockout stages, this important victory certainly carried echoes of that famous night.
Declan Rice has not been included in England’s squad for next week’s Nations Cup clash with Spain at Wembley, with manager Gareth Southgate saying that Rice has a “really difficult decision” to make about his international future.
Manchester City can consider themselves highly unfortunate not to beat Wolves. They hit the woodwork three times, Rui Patricio made a world-class save from Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus missed a simple chance, and the Wolves’ goal should have been disallowed for handball.
The Seville media described their team as visiting “where the gods play” on their first ever trip to Anfield — a slightly overblown analysis, certainly on the basis of the defensive horror show performed by the Premier League hosts in last night’s Champions League opener.
The Premier League’s top six take stock this week ahead of the hectic festive football programme. How many of the clubs genuinely retain hopes of being top of the tree next May? The answer may dictate how busy they are in the January window.