After the past couple of games I travelled to Middlesbrough feeling some apprehension and when you’re feeling a bit down Middlesbrough isn’t the best place to go. I was once told by someone who, because of work, had to reside on Teesside that if Depression was a country, Middlesbrough would be its capital.
I don’t know what over loud noise blasted out over the tannoy before the game was trying to do but if it was supposed to create a pre-match atmosphere, it failed. I know the ground was built on a chemical waste land but that away kit of ours certainly had a bit more of a toxic glow about it.
In the wake of the over sky hyped spat between Jürgen and the Neville Brothers I wasn’t surprised to see a change in our custodial position with Mignolet back between the sticks. Karius needed to be taken out of the firing line – no pun intended – and not to have done so wouldn’t have been fair on the German ‘keeper. I’ve not seen him do anything that would inspire confidence and now hopefully he can go away and spend a bit of time out the spotlight. It would have been equally unfair on Mignolet to continue to leave him out although he’s had more than enough problems of his own.
I thought we looked a bit edgy in the first half and we still seemed to sometimes over complicate when the simple would have been the better choice and we gave away a few needless free kicks deep in our own half. Even after Lallana opened the scoring we seemed to go on the back foot – or was it a case of expecting something to go wrong? Manè hasn’t been at his pulsating best for a while but he was unlucky with the shot that hit the post – and wasn’t it a great ball from Origi?
The second half was more like what we’d started to get used to from a Jürgen Klopp team and once the goals went in the mood in the away end was loud and fun. Far better than the miserable attempt at a pre-match ear bombardment from the tannoy; the old classic of ‘The best midfield in the world’ got an airing! The three goal margin could have been six and Boro wouldn’t have been able to complain. Hopefully the blip has passed. If you wanted a bit of typical wit it maybe came in the final moments when Mignolet caught a cross and loud cheers rang out accompanied by “He’s our goalie, our Belgium goalie” – or maybe you just had to be there.