Despite the brilliance of their opponents on Sunday, a club of Liverpool’s stature should not be losing 1-4 to anybody. But we were well and truly ripped to shreds by Tottenham at Wembley, and once again the root cause of the defeat were basic defensive errors.
Even the most pessimistic of Liverpool supporters would have been expecting their side to get a result on Tuesday at Maribor, but the actual manner of the victory was something else altogether.
You didn’t need to have the perceptive powers of Mystic Meg to know that Jose Mourinho would park the bus at Anfield on Saturday, and the fact that Manchester United managed just one shot on target in the 0-0 with Liverpool – and that Romelu Lukaku would have been better served staying at home with a cup of tea and watching the game on telly – speaks volumes.
There’s that saying that goes ‘it never rains but it pours’, and Jurgen Klopp must have allowed himself a wry smile thinking of the meaning behind that old chestnut.
Many English clubs are splashing out record transfer fees these days, and it is simply the sign of the times when they break their own record to bring in a new talent. It’s a simple reaction to the economics of football that dictates there’s more money sloshing around in the game than ever before.
The story of Liverpool’s season so far has been one of wasteful misadventure. Time and time again, we have dominated matches in numerous ways – possession, shots on target, shots inside the box, corners – but in the one metric that really counts, goals, we have been found lacking.
There is no better combination in football than contributing to an outstandingly entertaining game of football and still coming away with the three points. That’s exactly how Liverpool’s trip to Leicester City played out on Saturday, and in a match that panned out almost exactly as the Foxes would have liked it to – hectic, manic and pretty much out of control – it was very pleasing to see the Reds come up with moments of quality at key times.
When we previewed the Burnley match last week, we insinuated that it might be a low-scoring affair, and that the Clarets deserved more respect from the betting market. Sadly, we were right on both counts as they managed to hold out for a 1-1 draw despite the Reds flying forward at every available opportunity.
The cup competitions in England are one way for a club to get their hands on some silverware where otherwise they might not have the chance. They are also a great opportunity for beleaguered managers to ‘trick’ their team’s owners into thinking they are doing a decent job – it has worked for Arsene Wenger for the past decade after all!
Football is a funny old game, that’s well documented, and the scenarios that often play out when 22 men kick a bag of wind around can still shock and surprise a century or more after the beautiful game’s creation.