You would have to go back months – years even – to find the last time that Liverpool failed to register a single shot on target in a football match. But that’s exactly what happened in Naples on Tuesday, when the Reds toiled to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Napoli in the Champions League.
Two games in the space of three days against Chelsea have served up frustration and food for thought in equal measure for Jurgen Klopp. While defeat in the Carabao Cup perhaps isn’t the end of the world – we have bigger fish to fry this season, the absorbing 1-1 draw against the Blues on Saturday in the league highlighted that we may still have another step up in class to make if we want to genuinely challenge for the title.
Once the dust has settled, there is no great harm to being knocked out of the Carabao Cup at such an early juncture. Less games means more focus can be applied to a league and European assault, and ultimately that can only be a good thing for Liverpool Football Club.
If Saturday’s match against Southampton had been a boxing match, Mark Hughes would have thrown the towel in at half time to prevent his fighters taking any more punishment. We romped into a 3-0 lead at the break courtesy of goals from Joel Matip, Mo Salah and an own goal from Wes Hoedt, and it could have perhaps been more.
It feels like a lifetime ago now, such is the nature of the international break, but the 2-1 win over Leicester last time out was a decent way to enter the prolonged abstinence from club football. We could have been at least 3-0 to the good at half time, with goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino following a complete horror-show of a miss from Mo Salah, who really should have done better with his early chance.
It was hard fought, but our 1-0 win over Brighton on Saturday maintained our 100% start to the 2018/19 campaign. It was one of those frustrating games where we were a slightly misplaced pass or a narrow deflection away from running up a more convincing scoreline, but there were plenty of positives to be taken nonetheless.
The cynics might just suggest that the Crystal Palace is game one we would have lost 12 months ago.
You can certainly make a case as such; we definitely lost too many points in tricky-but-winnable encounters like a trip to Selhurst Park last term. Let’s face it, Manchester City would be strongly fancied to down the Eagles.
It was almost as if they’ve never been away.
Fresh from a season that promised to deliver so much, the Reds got right back in the saddle and blew West Ham away in a sublime show of attacking football.
It has been a busy transfer window for Jurgen Klopp and his recruitment team, but the good news is that his business has been conducted with typical German efficiency. He’s done things the right way too: identifying the weak areas of the squad and revamping accordingly.
The summer heatwave has been a godsend for some, a disaster for others, but there can be no doubting the sizzling work done by Jurgen Klopp and his recruitment team in the transfer window.