Liverpool Learn How to Win Ugly
Since their barnstorming start to the season, the Reds are working harder for results.
Unbeaten after 13 games of the Premier League season, Liverpool has scored 30 goals on the way to going eight points clear at the top of the table.
Those numbers would suggest Liverpool is doing the job with a confident swagger, heading for its first English league title in 30 years.
But those numbers gloss over the reality that Liverpool has learned, in order to claim a title over 38 games, you sometimes have to win ugly, much to the pleasure of manager Jurgen Klopp:
I know that 37 points after 13 match days is exceptional and you cannot have them with winning only brilliant games. We had a couple of really brilliant games, but we won them, thank god. But you can't only win them. So that's how it is … We actually just want to get results.
Since a barnstorming start to the season, Liverpool has had to work harder for its results.
Winning five straight, Liverpool hit 15 goals and had a combined margin of plus 11. In the next eight matches, the Reds have scored another 15 goals, but with an overall margin of plus eight.
Of those most recent eight games, Liverpool has drawn one and six have been won by a margin of just one goal.
That is perhaps evidence that Liverpool, even on its down days, has the grit and spirit to still grind and fashion a win.
In that regard, Liverpool certainly hopes winning ugly can win a league title.