Well would you look at that! Things were bad enough in 2020, however at least Liverpool’s house record stayed unblemished in the Premier League.
Simply 21 days into the 21 st year of the 21 st century, however, the Reds have somehow lost at Anfield in the Premier League … to Burnley.
In reality, if anybody deserved to end Liverpool’s 68- match unbeaten league perform at Anfield, it was Burnley. The Clarets were the only side to bring anything far from a trip to the red parts of Merseyside last season, and in fact, they had drawn 2 out of their last 3 away matches against Liverpool.
The match was a timeless Burnley victory– next to no belongings, a 6-4 development in defence and a winner in the last 10 minutes. Here, we will take a look at the clash from Liverpool’s viewpoint, and have a look at all that is failing for the Reds today:
Going into this match, Liverpool were 6 points off the top of the table, although they had played one fewer match than Manchester United.
Jürgen Klopp turned up with this:
The similarity Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were benched, while James Milner, Takumi Minamino and Curtis Jones did not start either. Jordan Henderson was out with a slight groin issue, however with Joël Matip back fit, there was a possibility of partnering him with Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips and sending out Fabinho back into his natural position in midfield, but Klopp thought much better of it.
With Salah and Firmino losing out, it was most confusing to see Xherdan Shaqiri in midfield when again. In the last match against United, this worked since Liverpool switched to a 4-2-3-1 while pushing with Salah pushing up and Shaqiri going out to the right wing, but versus Burnley, there was no pressing to be done.
If rest was indeed Klopp’s concern, one guy who plainly needed some was Trent Alexander-Arnold.
But even with only half of their A-team starting, Liverpool should be able to breeze past Burnley, right?
Absence of clinicality
2018/19 and 2019/20 Liverpool were renowned for taking the one opportunity they got in a match and coming away with a 1-0 victory. In those 2 seasons, 24 of their league victories were by a solitary objective. On most other celebrations, they won huge, averaging just over two objectives per match.
So far this season, they have averaged 1.
In the last two seasons, Liverpool averaged an xG of 1.65 per match, outshining it by 38.5 throughout the two seasons.
The xG Gods giveth and they taketh away … pic.twitter.com/B0HTML9eNu
— The xG Viewpoint (@xGPhilosophy) January 21, 2021
The possibilities are still rolling in, however they are not being taken for when.
So, you simply need to put their lack of objectives to a bad patch in front of objective. At the same time, it is tinged with some doubtful selection. If either Salah or Firmino went individually versus the goalkeeper towards the end of the first half, they would have scored regardless of their bad kind. Divock Origi, who took place to be on the pitch instead of among those 2, ended up hitting the woodwork, losing the match for Liverpool in a manner.
As is very well-documented, injuries have been a substantial pain for Liverpool this season.
To offset their loss of personnel in defence, the Reds have been required to change their essential protective midfielder, Fabinho, into a full-time centre-back. Henderson had actually been forced to partner him often as Klopp didn’t seem to rely on the younger alternatives, so Liverpool indirectly lost two midfielders.
With those 2 vacating midfield, the Reds needed to work with no defensive midfielder. Thiago had been slotting because position for the last number of matches, and while he was a massive upgrade with the ball at his feet, he wasn’t so good when the opposition had ownership.
This season, Liverpool have balanced 47.84 pressures in the midfield third per match, a sharp decrease from the 66.96 they balanced in the last two seasons. While the pandemic and tight component schedule can be blamed for some of that, their new-look midfield is also a part of the problem.
This leaves the protecting champs’ backline a lot more exposed, and, being the makeshift defence that it is, it is often breached. In just the very first half of this season, Liverpool have actually conceded as numerous goals as they performed in the totality of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.
1361 days after Liverpool lost to Crystal Palace at Anfield in April 2017, they have actually been beaten in their own backyard in the Premier League. The second-longest unbeaten crowning achievement in the league’s history has actually pertained to an end, and with it, Liverpool’s title hopes are slowly starting to disappear.
However, they are only six points off the top of the table, and if we have discovered something in the first 21 days of 2021, it is to not presume anything this year. As Klopp said in his post-match interview, it’s not rocket science– things are simply not going Liverpool’s way right now, but a spark of quality combined with some good luck might easily turn things around.
Stats courtesy Whoscored.com and Fbref.com