Manager Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool’s defeat to Burnley was a big blow, but he took full responsibility for Thursday’s 1-0 defeat at Anfield.
Last season the champions won the title for the first time in 30 years, but they are far behind this season and are six points behind Manchester United, who have not won in five games.
On the 19th, the Reds seemed to have the wind in their sails. They dismantled Crystal Palace 7-0 in December, but haven’t done so since.
It’s difficult, not easy to explain, Klopp told Sport. These guys are not the type to think after the 7-0: We go this way, they worked hard tonight, but it didn’t work out.
If something doesn’t work, you need to try harder, more often and longer. It wasn’t easy to lose that game, and we did it.
If I’m sitting here now, losing to Burnley and not scoring in the last four games, and I’m talking about the title race, how stupid would that be?
What happened to Liverpool?
Trust is a flower and someone has stamped it.
Liverpool’s last home defeat came against Palace 1370 days ago, in April 2017. This time it was cancelled out by a late penalty from Ashley Barnes.
It was the first defeat in 69 league games at Anfield, Chelsea’s second longest unbeaten run (86 games) ended in October 2008.
Despite the absence of injured defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, their problems lie on the other side of the pitch, where they are usually so effective.
Since the 1-1 draw with West Brom on the 27th. In December, Sadio Mane fired 87 shots against Liverpool in the Premier League without scoring, including 27 against Burnley, despite a 4-1 FA Cup victory at Aston Villa.
Despite their cup success, they have been goalless in their last four league games – with two 0-0 draws and two 1-0 defeats – and since 2006, when he was head coach of Mainz, coach Klopp has not been without a goal.
Klopp, who left star strikers Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench for the opening goal against Burnley on 57 minutes, told Radio 5 Live : It’s my fault, and that’s it. We need to make better decisions, we need to do the right thing more often.
Guys can do it, but it’s clear they’re not very sure of themselves after being away for a while. You can see that.
And people say: How can they not be confident, they won outright last year?
But trust is like a flower, someone clearly puts their stamp on it. At this stage we need to find a new one and we will – but so far it has not been enough.
In the latter third case, decisions are not made as they should be. Everyone will talk about what makes the problem not small, but big.
Is the Liverpool Four under threat?
LiverpoolLiverpool have already conceded two penalties at Anfield this season.
The Reds finished in fourth place ahead of Tottenham, who they will face in their next Championship match at 28th. January after their meeting in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Manchester United.
After Spurs, they had stiff competition from West Ham, Brighton, Manchester City, Leicester and Everton.
Former Anfield defender Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports: Liverpool are so bad at playing up front. They were far from what they had been in recent years.
At this point, the title seems to be slipping away. Six points are still up for grabs, but with Liverpool’s form and attitude, they can focus on the top quartet, not the title.
You have a lot on your mind, wondering what went wrong. I can’t remember this Liverpool team being in such bad shape.
Graeme Souness, former manager of the Reds and Sky expert, added: It’s coming. Liverpool have been a shadow of their former selves for the past three years. No glitter. They were flat.
It will be a challenge, Jurgen will find what he has in the locker room. So many expectations, and they didn’t manage them well – that’s what makes a special team.
Something is missing from this command – Analysis.
Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson on Radio 5’s live football podcast: Liverpool had too many chances where they had a little too much possession, their transition in the box was not great, passing was generally not good.
Liverpool’s full-backs have no problem looking ahead because teams have understood how to play with them. Moreover, without Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, the midfielder is less well supplied.
The problem for Liverpool is that they are not creating enough clear-cut chances. Why? Honestly, I don’t know. Jurgen Klopp and his coaches will know that this team is missing something at the moment.
- You can stream five fourth-round matches live this weekend, including Liverpool’s trip to Manchester United. For more information, click here.