England’s football champions Liverpool are still in crisis, although they were finally able to celebrate two goals in one match. After five games in the championship in a row without a win and with just one goal, Mohamed Salah scored twice in the sixteenth-finals against Manchester United on Sunday. But that wasn’t enough to win, because Liverpool conceded three goals for it – more than in a single game in 22 games.
“We need to learn how to defend again“, Complained coach Jürgen Klopp after the match. So now Liverpool have lost because too many individual mistakes were made on the defensive. At least the defense had done a good job in the past few weeks under difficult conditions. Since the end of October, Liverpool have had to do without their regular central defense because Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are out in the long term with a cruciate ligament or Achilles tendon tear. Nevertheless, Liverpool conceded only six goals in the last eleven championship games.
In the end, the problem was rather the offensive. Nobody expected that Salah, Sadio Mane & Co. would suddenly not score again in mid-December and after a 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace. But recently Liverpool have been confronted more and more with destructive opponents. The strikers found it difficult at first because they found fewer spaces, then they lost their self-confidence and finally they shot the simplest balls from close range next to the goal.
Analysts and statisticians have calculated that Liverpool have developed 6.6 high-profile goalscoring opportunities per game in the last five rounds in the Premier League. But only one hit resulted from 33 such goal scenes. The game against Burnley on Thursday was exemplary. Klopp nominated four strikers. In the end, Liverpool had 72 percent possession and 27 shots on goal – but did not score a goal and did not even get a point after a late penalty for the opponent.
It was the moment when Klopp and his team said goodbye to the championship race for the time being. “We lost 1-0 to Burnley. We haven’t scored a goal in four games. We’re six points behind first place. I’m not crazy enough to talk to you about defending your title now“, Emphasized the German coach after this“ zero ”.
After the defeat in the Cup against Manchester United, Klopp was more conciliatory. He has seen a lot of good things and things are going in the right direction, said the FIFA Coach of the Year 2020. “That was a good test for Thursday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur. We’ll have to deal with a deep opponent and a lot of counterattacks.”
The game in London against the WAC opponent in the Europa League knockout phase, who is better off in loss points than the fourth-placed defending champion from Liverpool, is perhaps the last chance for the “Reds” to bring about a turnaround in the Premier League . But against the defensive block of Jose Mourinho you need the best form of the storm line, and against the Spurs offensive with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min an excellent defense performance.
(WHAT) / Bild: Imago