2022 was an important year in the history of Liverpool Football Club.
There were two domestic cup final victories. A disappointing defeat in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid. An agonising second place Premier League finish, with the match result ultimately decided in the last 15 minutes of matchday 38. And a host of exciting new arrivals through the doors.
In this article, we’re looking to detail one high point and one low point for LFC from each calendar month running from January to December 2022.
High point – January has generally a great month for Liverpool. Progression in the FA Cup, victory against Arsenal over two legs in the semi finals of the EFL Cup as well as Premier League victories against Brentford and Crystal Palace meant that The Reds started off really well.
However, we’ll go for the signing of FC Porto and Colombia attacker Luis Diaz. Diaz had been strongly linked with Tottenham Hotspur throughout the January transfer window, however Liverpool swooped in and wrapped up the deal within the blink of an eye. And the impact Diaz had throughout the rest of the season was immense.
4 goals and 3 assists in 13 Premier League matches as well as 2 further goals in the UEFA Champions League meant that Diaz was able to add some much needed firepower to Jurgen Klopp’s forward line throughout the season.
Low point – As you can see from above, there wasn’t much to complain about in January. The Reds went undefeated and beat top four rivals to a major signing for their frontline.
However, there’s no getting away from disappointment in 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on January 2nd.
Usually, coming away from Stamford Bridge with a point is a highly regarded result. Chelsea were the reigning UEFA Champions League winners at that time so it’s not like they were a bad version of themselves. However, Liverpool did take a 2-0 lead in that game and it felt like a missed opportunity.
Ultimately, a wonder goal from Mateo Kovacic is what everyone remembers from the game. But Jurgen Klopp and his team will have felt disappointed that they didn’t come away with all three points.
High point – Again, February was a great month for Liverpool (you’ll be reading this quite a lot in this entry). A 6-0 demolition of Leeds United in the Premier League was a highlight as well as beating Italian giants Inter Milan 2-0 at the San Siro in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
But there’s only one undoubted winner for Feb and that’s the penalty shoot out victory at Wembley in the EFL Cup final against Chelsea. The first piece of silverware of the season (we don’t count the Community Shield) was won by the team from the red side of Merseyside, making it the ninth time that Liverpool had won the title in their history.
Having last won it in 2012, it marked the return of the trophy to Liverpool ten years on.
Low point – This was a difficult one. As there wasn’t much that Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp or the fans will have to complain about in February 2022. The Reds won all their games (with the EFL Cup final the only one not won in normal time), clawed their way back in the title race against Manchester City and banged in a loads of goals along the way.
So we’ve gone with the time that both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino got injured in the clash with Inter Milan. There were concerns that both would miss the EFL Cup winner and that may have left Liverpool a bit threadbare when it came to forward reinforcements. Jota did make a recovery in time, but Firmino unfortunately missed out on the match day squad for the final. For that reason, that’s our low point for February.
High point – Another great month for The Reds. There was progression to the FA Cup semi finals with two victories against Norwich City in fifth round and against Nottingham Forest in the quarter finals, winning four out of four in the Premier League and navigating through the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 were all memorable moments in March.
We’ve chosen the 2-0 victory against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League as the stand out moment of that month. Mikel Arteta’s side were unbeaten in nine Premier League appearances, with eight of those being victories, and many had them as favourites for the tie. However, Liverpool took them to school with goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino settling the tie in a deserved victory for Klopp’s men.
Low point – LFC fans were very rarely troubled in March. However, there was one particular game that had them worrying for large parts of the game.
The 1-0 loss to Inter Milan in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg was an especially nervous night. Having won the first leg 2-0 at the San Siro, many assumed that the second leg was to be a mere formality. However, Argentinian striker Lautaro Martinez halved the deficit on 61 minutes and there were sheer fright at Anfield that Inter may turn this around.
Fortunately, a red card two minutes later for former Manchester United and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez took the sting out of Inter’s tail for the remainder of the match. But there was a lot of worry and concern that night that Inter may have turned it around. And had Sanchez not seen red, the story may have been different.
High point – Where do we start with April? A 4-0 drubbing of fierce rivals Manchester United, where Liverpool scored within 5 minutes and dominated the game statistically with United only managing 1 shot on target and having less than 30% possession in the game, will live long in the memory for fans. Then there was one of the games of the season where The Reds drew 2-2 with Manchester City at the Etihad; a game that Liverpool may have felt they should have come away with all three points.
Beyond that, there was also a 2-0 Premier League victory against Merseyside rivals Everton, a 3-2 FA Cup semi final victory against Manchester City and a 6-4 aggregate win against Benfica in the UEFA Champions League quarter finals (at one point, The Reds were 6-2 up on aggregate before they took their foot off the gas).
However, our high point of April had nothing to do with performance on the pitch as it was some news off the pitch that we felt was more important. And that was news that Jurgen Klopp had signed a new contract to extend his stay with LFC for another two years. The German manager has completely transformed this Liverpool side from nearly rans to serial winners. Without him, the team just wouldn’t have achieved what they did.
With rampant rumours at the time that Klopp may be getting ready to say goodbye to The Reds in preparation for a potential return to Germany, with rumours of a move to the German national side, the news that Jurgen Klopp was staying for longer was music to the ears of Liverpool fans around the world. This was such an important announcement for the club that, in our eyes, it superseded everything else that happened in April.
Low point – We’re once again clutching at straws here for April as there’s not too much to complain about.
Some Reds fans were disappointed with the lack of concentration shown by Liverpool in the latter parts of the quarter final against Benfica at Anfield. Not only did the team concern two late goals after taking the foot off the gas, but Benfica striker Darwin Nunez had the ball in the net three times with only one counting. Had they all been allowed, then things may have been different. The truth is, however, that Liverpool always felt in control of that game and you always felt that they could take it up a notch if they wanted to.
So our choice for low point of the month was the 2-2 Premier League draw against Manchester City at the Etihad. Again, in isolation, you can’t really complain too much about this. There’s not many teams who go toe-to-toe with The Citizens and come away not suffering defeat. However, knowing how the title race finished, a potential victory would have been immense.
Not only would it have given Liverpool two more points, but it would also have taken one more off City. And that, as it proved, could have made all the difference.
High point – May is the first time in 2022 where the negatives outweighed the positives for the club. But we’ll get to that. For now, let’s focus on the better times.
For one, The Reds went undefeated again in the Premier League for the month of May – meaning they finished the season having not lost a game in the second half of the season and only dropping 6 points from January onwards.
But the highlight of the month was without a doubt the FA Cup final victory against Chelsea at Wembley. Once again settled on penalty kicks, it wasn’t the greatest spectacle ever with some arguing that Chelsea may have even won it on the day. What’s without doubt is that it wasn’t the greatest game ever that these two Premier League giants put on.
At the end of the day, Liverpool came away with the trophy and that’s all that mattered.
Low point – Oh dear, oh dear. Let’s get this over with.
To begin with, the 1-1 Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield felt like it would cost Liverpool the league and it ultimately did. The feeling within the stadium at the end of the match was that the initiative had firmly been handed back to Manchester City in the race for the title and that made the draw feel more like a defeat. If Liverpool had just managed to win that game, the season would have turned out so differently.
And the final game of the season, despite coming from behind to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1, felt very much the same with Manchester City’s come from behind victory against Aston Villa at home sealing the title for City by just one point. Victory at either City in April or against Spurs at home in May could have been the difference between first and second.
But the undoubted low point of month was the 1-0 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid. Going into the match, many felt that Liverpool were favourites. However, a goal from Vinicius Junior gave Madrid the advantage and a supreme performance from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois meant that Liverpool were beaten once again in the final by Real.
From talk of an unprecedented quadruple to just having won the two domestic cup competitions felt like a massive comedown for Liverpool. In any other season, this would have been an amazing season. However, Liverpool fans were left wondering what may have been and a potential history making season slipped through the fingers.
High point – By June, the season was over so there’s not any highlights from the pitch that we can speak about. So this is all about transfers.
Liverpool confirmed the signings of promising youngsters Fabio Carvalho, from Fulham, and Calvin Ramsay, from Aberdeen. Both of these players have long been touted as stars for the future and Liverpool getting them in the door was a serious scoop for the club’s future.
But the main highlight of the month was the signing of Benfica and Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez. Another player who had been heavily linked to Manchester United, who were on the lookout for a new striker amidst the uncertainty surrounding global megastar Cristiano Ronaldo, The Reds swooped in and go Nunez signed and across the line before anyone knew what had happened.
The fact that United were also in for Nunez was another major feather in the cap for Klopp’s side, with many media outlets maintaining that Nunez didn’t want to join the side from Manchester once Liverpool made their interest known.
Low point – Easy. The departure of Liverpool forward and certified legend Sadio Mane.
Shortly after the Champions League final, Sadio Mane shared his intention to leave Liverpool Football Club. The Reds hierarchy respected his wishes and helped facilitate a move to German giants Bayern Munich for a potential £35m.
Signed from Southampton in 2016 for just over £30m, Mane was one of the key members of a frontline that transformed the side completely. Mane, along with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, terrorised defences for six years at Anfield and always popped up with major goals when they were needed.
Reds fans were always worried that replacing a star like Mane was never going to be easy, but the Liverpool hierarchy felt that Nunez, along with January signing Diaz as well as Diogo Jota, would cover for the loss. Of course, that’s easier said than done and Mane’s departure is still felt today at Anfield.
High point – By July, we’re still in pre-season mode so there’s not much to highlight. However, the 3-1 Community Shield victory against Manchester City at Wembley was the easy winner here.
Billed as the showdown between the two summer signings, Nunez for The Reds and Erling Haaland for Manchester City, it was Nunez who came out on top – winning the penalty that Salah converted to make it 2-1 and then adding the final goal on his debut to seal the victory. In comparison, Haaland missed a sitter mere yards out from the goal that belied belief.
So first blood to Nunez in that particular battle.
Low point – The opening game of pre-season for The Reds was a matchup with fierce rivals Manchester United in Thailand. However, it was a shocking performance from Liverpool as there seemed a real hangover from the Champions League final defeat in the team’s first match since that night.
The end result was Manchester United winning 4-0 and pulling Liverpool apart in a performance that raised serious concerns within the fanbase. Of course, it’s just a pre-season game but the defence was all over the place and allowed United to score at will it seemed.
Liverpool did bounceback on pre-season with victories against Crystal Palace and RB Leipzig. But these were followed up with a 1-0 defeat to RB Salzburg and, more worryingly, a 3-0 Anfield defeat to French side Strasbourg. Granted, that lineup was predominantly made up of young team stars so it wasn’t quite as bad as the defeat to United. However, being the last game of pre-season at home, it wasn’t an ideal way to start the year.
High point – August was a seriously mixed up month for Jurgen Klopp’s men. We’ll come to the more negative parts of mixed up element of the month in the month later, but the month finished strong with two great victories for LFC.
The second was a 2-1 Premier League victory against Newcastle United, who were beginning to show some of their teeth after investment from new Saudi owners. But the main highlight of the month was the 9-0 Premier League victory against newly promoted Bournemouth. From minute one until the very end, Liverpool completely dominated The Cherries and there was even a glimmer that the team may have scored 10 in the game – which would have been the first time ever in a Premier League match.
Low point – Let’s rewind a little to the beginning of the season. Liverpool started off their Premier League campaign with two draws from two matches most felt they’d comfortably win. This included a 2-2 draw away to Fulham, who arguably will have felt hard done by not coming away with all three points, and an equally disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace; a match mostly remembered for Darwin Nunez getting a straight red card for headbutting a Palace player.
However, it was the second defeat in two months to Manchester United that was undoubtedly the low point of the month. United were coming off of two demoralising defeats to Brighton at home and a destruction away Brentford away. Many pundits were even suggesting that United could be pulled into a relegation fight, they were that bad. Yet, somehow, United won 2-1 against Liverpool at Old Trafford in a match that went completely opposite to how most would have predicted.
Liverpool were slow and sluggish, with James Milner visibly berating Virgin Van Dijk on the pitch for the first goal scored by Jadon Sancho. It turned the narrative around at Old Trafford and put the pressure on Jurgen Klopp to fix things at Anfield.
High point – September didn’t really get much better for Liverpool. Due to the international calendar and Nations League fixtures, there were only three games that Liverpool played in the month.
And the one victory from that game is our highlight of the month. A 2-1 home victory against Ajax in the UEFA Champions League group stage was the first victory in the Champions League for that season. But even that didn’t come easy, with a last minute winner from defender Joel Matip helping The Reds get over the line.
Low point – This is the other game from the Champions League. Liverpool travelled to Napoli and lost the game 4-1.
The Reds were played completely off the park with Napoli playmaker Khvicha Kvaratskhelia running the show for the team from Naples. Two goals from Piotr Zielinski set Napoli on their way to a famous victory in a game that they dominated and fully deserved the victory in.
High point – October was another mixed bag, with some fantastic victories followed up by disappointing defeats.
In terms of victories, there is one stand out performance of the month. And that’s the 1-0 Premier League victory against Manchester City at Anfield.
Liverpool have generally done quite favourably against Man City over the years. However, this year many were expecting City to win his ease due to the smashing star by Erling Haaland and Liverpool’s own inconsistent start.
But a wonderful goal by Salah, he’s made a habit of scoring worldies against City over the years, when he capitalised on a mistake by Joao Cancelo to give The Reds all three points.
Notable mentions for October have to go to the 7-1 away victory against Glasgow Rangers at Ibrox in the UEFA Champions League, where Salah scored a five minute hattrick, and a dominant 3-0 away win against Ajax in Amsterdam too.
Low point – The month began on a sour note in a Premier League game against Brighton where, having clawed back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2, Liverpool considered a late goal that gave Leandro Trossard a hattrick as well as The Seagulls a point at Anfield.
There was also a 3-2 loss to Arsenal at The Emirates in what was an entertaining game, albeit one in which Liverpool left empty handed and also left Luis Diaz sustaining a kneee injury that consequently kept him out for the remainder of the year.
But the lowest point came in the last game of the month where Liverpool lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest in a Premier League fixture at the City Ground. And to rub salt in the wounds, it was former Reds youth team player Taiyo Awoniyi who scored the winner. This was Forest’s first season back in the Premier League this millenium and had only registered one victory at that point in this season. However, somehow Liverpool conspired to hand Forest their second Premier League win of the season and help ease some of their relegation fears.
High point – November was a relatively short month compared to previous seasons, with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar meaning that games were stopped midpoint into the month. However, there were still a couple of positive moments for The Reds.
Jurgen Klopp’s side travelled to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and sealed a determined 2-1 victory – providing a much needed boost in the league. And there was also progression in the FA Cup too.
The biggest high point of the month came in the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool beat Napoli 2-0 in a convincing display that went some way in terms of gaining revenge for the defeat earlier in September.
Low point – As there were only three games in the month, all of which Liverpool won, there’s nothing really to highlight as a low point.
There were some Liverpool players who missed out on the World Cup altogether – with Brazilian pair Thiago Alcantara and Roberto Firmino surprise omissions from their squad. And there were others who might not have had either the game time or the experience they were expected (Trent Alexander-Arnold springs to mind as he was subject to intense speculation before Reece James’s injury opened up a space for him in the squad), but in general there isn’t much to write about here.
The only real thing that of note was that the performance of the team in the EFL Cup Third Round penalty shout out win against Derby County. This was a game that many expected Liverpool to breeze through as Derby County had been recently relegated to League One and lost their manager Wayne Rooney amidst a number of financial issues. And even though Liverpool put out a fairly young side, many expected it to be dealt with in normal time.
Having to go to the lottery of penalties means that it’s a heads or tails call. And it could have led Liverpool to an embarrassing situation of being knocked out by lower league opposition so early in the competition that they’re current holders.
High point – December has only had three competitive games, as the season began again after the break for the FIFA World Cup. And Liverpool were victorious in both Premier League fixtures, with a 3-1 away win against Aston Villa at Villa Park and a (rather fortuitous) 2-1 win at home against Leicester City – gaining some much needed points onto the board.
However, there is only one story that dominated the news for Liverpool fans in December and that was revelation that Liverpool signed Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven. A star for The Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Gakpo was heavily linked with Manchester United who were in need of forward reinforcements after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Seemingly out of nowhere, story broke after the Villa game that Liverpool had emerged as favourites to sign Gakpo and within 24 hours, it was all confirmed.
This was sensation news for Liverpool for a number of reasons. For one, Liverpool got an exciting young attacker who can provide competition for places across the frontline for years to come. Two, he fills an immediate need with the injury news related to Jota and Diaz. And three, Liverpool seemingly beat arch rivals United to a player that they wanted to sign – something that they’d done with Nunez in the summer and to Spurs with Diaz in the January transfer window.
Gakpo’s signing has captured the imagination of Liverpool fans, who are eagerly anticipating his debut in 2023, and that makes this the undoubted story of December.
Low point – The other match in December was another phenomenal game of high quality football against Manchester City in the EFL Cup Round of 16, where Klopp’s side fought bravely in a ding-dong of a match that ultimately ended 3-2 to City. Liverpool had twice come from behind, including for the second goal that was scored by Salah merely seconds after Riyad Mahrez had put City 2-1.
However, The Reds couldn’t find another route back to goal once Nathan Ake made it 3-2 and City held on for victory – knocking Liverpool out of the cup and meaning that there will be new EFL Cup champions this year.
So that’s our entire list.
What do you make of it? Are there any other highlights or lowlights that you feel should have been highlighted? What’s your individual highlight of the season in full? And what are you most looking forward to in 2023 for Klopp and his side?
Don’t forget to share your thoughts in our comments section below.
Everyone at DaveOCKOP sends best wishes for 2023 to all our readers.