Liverpool's propensity to lurch from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again seemingly knows no bounds.
From the depths of despair after defeat at Leicester City to the dizzy heights of ecstasy after dispatching Arsenal in style on a stirring night at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp jumped for joy at the final whistle after overseeing the perfect response to a torrent of criticism.
An exhilarating victory – only Liverpool's second in eight league matches - breathed new life into their push for Champions League qualification as they climbed up to third spot in the Premier League.
Kopites walked away full of delight and pride but also with a nagging sense of frustration over this side's infuriating Jekyll and Hyde nature.
Was this slick, cohesive red machine really packed full of the same faces who played like a bunch of strangers just five days earlier?
When Liverpool perform with a swagger and a hunger like this then it makes their tame capitulations at the hands of modest opposition all the more difficult to stomach.
Klopp has a team capable of beating the best – underlined by their fine record of five wins and four draws against top-six opposition this season.
But too often seeing off lesser lights has proved beyond them. It comes down to attitude, application and having a game plan designed to combat 'bus parking' opponents.
Klopp's ability to change that and find some consistency during the run-in will ultimately define whether this season goes down as one of success or failure.
Liverpool's fate won't be decided by their tussles with the big boys. It will come down to how they handle tricky trips to the likes of Stoke, West Brom, Watford and West Ham.
Klopp must fine a way to bottle this type of tempo and intensity. It was a performance to cherish as first-half goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane put the hosts firmly in the driving seat.
Then came a gutsy rearguard effort as Arsenal rallied and the Reds had to dig deep after Danny Welbeck reduced the arrears.
A grandstand finale brought Anfield to its feet as in stoppage time the outstanding Adam Lallana released Divock Origi, who crossed for Gini Wijnaldum to wrap up the points.
Ragnar Klavan's inclusion at the expense of Lucas Leiva was the only change but Liverpool were unrecognisable from the shambles at the King Power Stadium.
This time it was Klopp's men dictating proceedings as they played with the kind of energy and purpose which had been so sadly lacking against Leicester.
The Reds' show of force yielded a breakthrough inside nine minutes.
Simon Mignolet's punt down field was flicked on by Firmino with Philippe Coutinho and Lallana combining to pick out Mane on the right.
Firmino had intelligently burst towards the back post and Mane didn't let him down. The sweeping low cross was inviting and Firmino kept his cool to hammer his 10th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
It's been a lean spell for the Brazilian attacker with just three goals in his previous 19 outings but here he was back to his blistering best.
Confidence oozed through his veins with his tricks and flicks bamboozling Arsenal's increasingly stretched backline.
Liverpool were transformed in all departments. Full-backs Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner rampaged down the flanks, while Emre Can protected the back four and allowed those in front of him to wreak havoc.
Arsenal found themselves pinned in their own half by the Reds' tireless work ethic as they pressed relentlessly. The Gunners simply weren't allowed to settle with time and space at a premium.
Lallana set the tone as he repeatedly embarrassed Francis Coquelin. Time and time again Lallana was all over the Frenchman, forcing him to cough up possession cheaply. Anfield roared its approval.
Eventually, Coquelin lost his rag and was booked for cynically hauling Lallana back.
There was no let up for the Gunners. Firmino would have had a clear run on goal but strayed marginally offside before being released by Mane.
Coutinho is still some way from the heights he was hitting prior to his ankle injury in November but this was a promising step forward for him.
Liverpool's little magician, who got Coquelin's boot in his face early on, grew into the contest and saw his fierce left-footer brilliantly tipped over by Petr Cech.
Coutinho later produced a sublime touch to collect Lallana's deflected pass out of the night's sky but fired straight at the keeper. Close but no cigar.
The Reds got the second goal their dominance merited five minutes before the break.
This time Firmino turned creator, collecting Wijnaldum's pass and picking out the unmarked Mane.
Arsenal were made to pay as the £30million man took a touch to steady himself and then lashed home his 12th goal of the campaign.
Arsene Wenger took action at the interval. With Alexis Sanchez on for the abject Coquelin, the second half was a different story.
Olivier Giroud had barely been involved but he started to get some decent service. Mignolet reacted brilliantly to claw Giroud's header from Nacho Monreal's cross on to the bar.
The Reds keeper was beaten shortly before the hour mark.
Sanchez was the architect with a perfectly weighted pass for Welbeck but Clyne didn't cover himself in glory as he nodded off and failed to track the run. Mignolet raced off his line but Welbeck clipped it past him.
The atmosphere changed. Anxiety levels around Anfield grew. But rather than wilt, Liverpool stood tall.
Klavan, who was making his first league start since January, repaid Klopp's faith and Joel Matip was immense alongside him in a much-improved defensive effort.
Arsenal's greater depth was underlined by the £60million worth of substitutes they introduced as Lucas Perez and Theo Walcott followed Sanchez.
But Klopp's first XI got the job done. They absorbed the pressure and then hit the Gunners on the counter.
Liverpool also enjoyed a slice of good fortune with Can somehow avoiding a second yellow after chopping down Walcott.
Substitute Divock Origi nodded against the foot of the post before Wijnaldum settled proceedings. It was a sweeping counter-attack which started with Matip bravely denying Sanchez before Lallana's exquisite pass opened Arsenal up.
This was a night which showcased the best of Liverpool. Sublime rather than ridiculous. Now they must finally sustain it.
Source: Liverpool Echo
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