It has been a week to forget for Liverpool FC, and one that has confirmed a rather glaring weakness in our armoury. Two matches at Anfield against teams that have come and parked the us have yielded just two points and a solitary goal; an indicator that, whether the ‘fab four’ of Coutinho, Mane, Salah and Firmino are selected or not, we simply have to be smarter in the manner in which we go about our business.
There can’t be many occasions where an away team has deserved a point as little as Everton’s ‘earned’ in the 1-1 at Anfield on Sunday. Liverpool enjoyed 79% possession of the ball, and while we have noted in the past that this is the most regressive stat in the beautiful game, the context here is that the Reds had the ball for some 72 minutes of this match.
Sometimes, there just aren’t enough superlatives with which to describe a performance. Liverpool’s 7-0 win over Spartak Moscow – in a game we had to avoid defeat in to ensure a safe passage to the last 16 of the Champions League – was as captivating as it was simple.
Group E of the Champions League boils down to this all-or-nothing clash between Liverpool and Spartak Moscow at Anfield on Wednesday evening. Okay, so that billing isn’t quite accurate, but let’s be under no illusions: if Liverpool lose this game they are out of the Champions League.
As expected, Liverpool recorded a resounding 0-3 win at Stoke on Wednesday evening, although in truth the context of the game suggests an encounter that was rather closer than the scoreline suggests.
As Jurgen Klopp pointed out in his post-match press conference, it was always going to be difficult for Liverpool to overcome a Chelsea side packed with eight defence-minded players.
It’s hard to really digest the events of Tuesday evening in Sevilla, and quiet reflection is needed just to decide if the experience was a positive one or not.
In our preview of Saturday’s match, we suggested that Southampton’s negative approach would be tailormade for Liverpool, and so it proved with the Reds delivering a blistering display to run out 3-0 winners.
The international break is a huge annoyance for a number of reasons, and it is especially so when it arrives to halt the brilliant momentum that Liverpool were building just prior to the fortnight off.
The international break is a good time to take stock, look back at what has happened so far and see where we’re heading as the run-up to Christmas and the New Year intensifies.