Simon Mignolet’s relevance to Liverpool’s good start 3

It’s interesting how little incidents can, depending on what follows, become increasingly more significant throughout a season.

When Daniel Agger handled in his own box against Stoke on opening day, Liverpool looked like they were about to be punished for their inability to kill of a beatable opponent at Anfield - imagine the drain that would have had on the fans and the players, and think about how some of the more hysterical sections of the media would have responded.

Of course, Simon Mignolet denied Jon Walters from the penalty spot, and what could have turned into a festering negative became the genesis of considerable optimism for Brendan Rodgers’ side. Had Walters equalised, what would have been the mindset heading to Villa Park the next week?

It’s obviously a big hypothetical, but these little details are significant - even if they’re just specific to certain players. Had Mignolet’s confidence not been jolted by his heroics - after what was otherwise quite a shaky home debut - would he have kept out Christian Benteke’s late half-volley, and had they not preserved a clean sheet in their first game, would Liverpool’s defence have had the cohesion to continue that goalless sequence across their next two fixtures, and would they have held-out as Manchester United clicked-into-gear late-on last weekend?

Football sides are judged on big details - like goals scored and league position - but it is interesting to plot the impact of little incidents and trace their relevance.

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