As so often in the past few weeks, the injured champion appeared powerless in the fifth home defeat in a row, especially in attack. During the week, statisticians for the “Times” had calculated that Liverpool were still one of the top four teams in the Premier League in terms of their own and opposing chances of scoring; In other words, the results were ultimately worse than the achievements and were quite unlucky.
Poison for the legs and head
“Intensity is our identity,” said assistant coach Pep Lijnders a few months ago. Conversely, Liverpool currently looks lost, almost faceless. Numerous failures and the resulting freshness of the core workforce have robbed the team of its vehemence in the gloomy association with the dense calendar and corona-related ghost games. The replacement of star striker Mohamed Salah in the 62nd minute was symbolic of this.
The Egyptian looked completely out of shape. Those five to ten percent, which he is currently missing just like all the other important players, are enough to present Liverpool with bigger problems in almost every game against well-tiered opponents.
Everything in flux with Tuchel
“It was a complex performance in which a lot was right: our counter-pressing, our defensive will, the courage to playfully free ourselves from the pressure,” said a delighted Tuchel. Chelsea have been unbeaten ten games since their arrival (eight wins), hard to crack at the back with a three-man chain and variable at the front like no other team in the league due to the high squad density. Since the high technical skills of the troops have been accompanied by specific tactical instructions from the bank, their game has literally blossomed. Everything is in flux, in rhythm. The Londoners pranced their way to fourth place with the victory and will land in the Champions League places in this condition.
At that time, too, as analysts later discovered, the results were disproportionately bad, but so many little things were still wrong that the big picture was no longer right. “We didn’t have the usual system security, made systematic mistakes in defensive behavior, were incredibly vulnerable to counterattacks,” said Klopp’s assistant Peter Krawietz in retrospect. “We could not implement the impulse of counter-pressing sustainably, but there was no time to practice it.”
Six years ago, the winter break, the warm sun in Marbella and many units on the training ground brought about the timely change at BVB. Unfortunately, just such a change in air is currently not possible. Liverpool has to work its way out of the wasteland alone in the cold, eerily quiet city.