The Kop came alive last Sunday when out of nowhere Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno came sliding in to take the ball away from Southampton’s Saido Mane as the Senegalese footballer was bearing down on the Liverpool goal.
“I love it when something like that happens, it’s absolutely great,” said the Spaniard. “When the fans sort of get behind you and congratulate you for a good piece of play, like in that case the tackle. It’s amazing.
“It’s almost why you go out on the field to perform well and do things well for the fans.”
And not only did the fans let Moreno know that they appreciated his defending, the clubs new manager Jürgen Klopp applauded the goal saving tackle from the touchline, a far cry from Moreno’s first impression of former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
Every Liverpool fan knows that it was Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand that Rodgers wanted to sign for left-back, but when Chelsea would not sell he had to settle for Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno after the Spanish club agreed to accept £12 million to let him leave.
In Rodgers mind Moreno was always a player who was better going forward than defending, which was why at the start of the current season he dropped Moreno in favour of teenager Joe Gomez.
Moreno now admits that he was raging inside at the decision made by Rodgers, and that even when he did get a chance to play it was as a wing-back rather than as a full-back.
“I perhaps felt that he (Rodgers) didn’t have quite so much confidence in me, certainly at the start of the season,” said Moreno.
“He told me I was training hard but then I didn’t feature for those first five or six games.
“He said to me that it was still early in the season and that my opportunity would come, but after the first game against Stoke, when we kept a clean sheet, he said he wasn’t going to change anything defensively at that point.
“I was angry. It never entered my head that I was going to leave. I want to stay forever. But I had this inner anger, a rage almost. I felt I was playing well, training well. He told me that I was training well. But I couldn’t see why I wasn’t getting a chance at the beginning.”
Moreno is now harnessing that inner anger to impress Klopp and knows that with his hard work rate he can get the German to believe in him.
“I think that it has been a 100pc change,” said Moreno. “Everything is totally different. He spoke to all the players and the first thing he said to us was that he was going to judge things on what he saw and what he felt.
“He told us we all started from zero. He said the present had nothing to do with the past and the previous regime. We were all starting from now.
“I just get the impression that he really feels the game. He has a huge passion for the game, which I think I do. He wants you to express yourself on the field. He wants you to offer not 100pc, but 200pc, when you are performing and I think I offer that.
“It fits in with me.
“First and foremost let me tell you I haven’t just learned to defend under Klopp! I have been defending since I was a kid and learnt the art of defending before he arrived.
“But what is true to say is that he spends a lot of time on the training field how we set up – not just defensively, but also where we are position wise in the middle of the field and also in attack.
“So each training session is quite tactical, we cover a lot of positioning work and strategy as well. I think perhaps you can start to see that on the field where we are working as one and seem united as a group now.
“The other reason I go out on the field is to defend well and put in challenges like that. I know that my first job is to defend, and I think this year I’m much better defensively this year, I think things have been going better for me defensively.
“That part of my game is primarily what I’m in the team for, but as well I still have that desire and I love of going forward when I get the chance.”
The 23-year-old is no fool either and knows that in order to understand not only his teammates and what Klopp wants from him he must work on improving his English.
“He talks with me a lot,” said Moreno, speaking through an interpreter. “I do feel he trusts me. He spends a lot of time with me. He really wants me to learn English as quickly as possible, so he can get his ideas over.
“I have to brush up on my English. I’m now up to four days a week with my English lesson. It’s between one and two hours a session…and it’s a bit boring!
“It’s at home, when I can fit it around the matches, when we have time.
“But the fact he has spent so much time with me, I think, shows up in good performances on the field.”