The Reds went into their final Champions League group stage match knowing a point or more would guarantee their progression to the competition’s last-16 and, remarkably, they were 3-0 ahead within 18 minutes.
Jurgen Klopp decided to leave out his captain Jordan Henderson from the starting XI, with Georgino Wijnaldum and Emre Can playing in a two-man centre-midfield, and it seemed to work wonders for the Premier League side.
Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho made it 5-0 in the second half, and a lot of fans reckon the blistering showing was definitely helped by Henderson’s absence from the team:
Whether fans like it or not, we are far far better without Henderson
— Keep Sturridge! (@StevieGForcee) December 6, 2017
Coutinho done more for Liverpool as Captain in one game than Henderson in 2yrs
— Robert Cazorla (@CazorlaRoba) December 6, 2017
This is what happens when you don't play Henderson. Long may this continue
— King Kobby🇬🇭🇩🇪 (@Mr__Bauer) December 6, 2017
— Amy Moffatt (@AmyMoffattLFC) December 6, 2017
Captain coutinho gets hat-rick
Captain Henderson passes backwards, shows no creativity and has no leadership
— Fëštīvę Tøm🎅🎊 (@brewsteresque) December 6, 2017
I think selling Henderson is the most appropriate thing to do rn
— James (@sleator279) December 6, 2017
Can't see how Henderson can get in the side for Sunday against @Everton
— Richard Kyte (@Owseebut) December 6, 2017
Henderson surely can't come back into this side on Sunday. He doesn't deserve to be near it, based on performances. #LFC
— Evan Dunne (@EvanDunne) December 6, 2017
— R379 (@roshan379) December 6, 2017
Never let Henderson near the captain's band this UCL season. Coutinho would gladly do the honors.
— Akua Anansewaa™ (@a_capable_woman) December 6, 2017
#LFC tonight shows a true leader#coutinho#hattrick Henderson needs a rebirth,mediocre!!
— teddy kurz (@Ted_oladaniel) December 6, 2017
This is football passing excellent no offence to Henderson but he is holding us back
— lallavish (@Vincent_ino) December 6, 2017
We play soooooo much better without Henderson.
— Captain Anhedonia (@keswickbro) December 6, 2017
I hate to be ‘that guy’ when we are 5-0 up, but WOW, we are 10x the side we are without Jordan Henderson, than with. Everything flows through our midfield with perfection; Henderson holds us back with his negative, and almost 99% of the time, pointless, passing.
— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) December 6, 2017
Has Henderson really been that bad this season? Does he really deserve this kind of stick? And are Liverpool a lot better without him?