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Liverpool’s alarming numbers don’t lie with Chelsea loss confirming they are currently broken

The Reds have stumbled to three losses in four games with Chelsea eliminating them in the FA Cup on Tuesday night

Melissa Reddy
Stamford Bridge
Wednesday 04 March 2020 07:59 GMT
Liverpool respond after Chelsea score a second in their 2-0 win over the Reds
Liverpool respond after Chelsea score a second in their 2-0 win over the Reds (Reuters)

On Tuesday evening as the dust settled on another crushing defeat, Jurgen Klopp had no counter to the numbers.

In Liverpool’s last four matches across all competitions, they have scored three goals – all against West Ham – and conceded eight.

The 2-0 FA Cup loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was the freshest scene of their fading fight, registering zero shots on target in the second half despite chasing the game.

That figure was more depressing in the Champions League disappointment on Atletico Madrid’s turf, where they registered none in the whole encounter.

When Watford pulverised their Invincibles ideal at the weekend, they mustered one.

Jurgen Klopp is struggling to find answers right now (AFP via Getty)

Liverpool, as benchmark-setting as they have been this season, are currently broken.

“The numbers are there, the facts are there, that’s all clear,” Klopp conceded after a third defeat in four games.

“I have not a lot of arguments. I cannot say, ‘No, you are not right’ or whatever. It’s a free world, you can interpret like you want. But I can only speak about what I see. I see the numbers, I know them, that’s not cool.

“We don’t want to concede that many, it’s not that we don’t want to score again. I don’t sit here and think, ‘OK, the way back to the moment where we can score or we don’t concede is like 100 miles away’.

“It’s little things, but the little things make the difference. The boys are strong, they showed so many times a wonderful reaction and now we have to show this reaction again. That’s all.”

Beyond the statistics, one of the most concerning aspects during Liverpool’s stumble has been their failure to retaliate as it has been a main feature of their campaign.

They could not make Atleti, Watford nor Chelsea remotely uncomfortable and struck out when they needed to strike back.

The European champions, usually so well versed in mistake management, have been increasingly error-prone. Both of Chelsea’s goal materialised from Liverpool muckery: Adrian spilled Willian’s robust hit for their opener after Fabinho’s poor touch and poke gifted them possession, before Ross Barkley was encouraged to drive through midfield and thunder in an effort after more loose, passive play.

Liverpool respond after Chelsea score a second in their 2-0 win over the Reds (REUTERS) (Reuters)

Lampard admitted Chelsea had a sprinkling of fortune and as Klopp summarised: “If you make decisive mistakes then you lose football games.”

While Kepa Arrizabalaga looked more like the world’s most expensive goalkeeper on the night than one who had been dropped for the six previous fixtures, Liverpool again lacked attacking fluency.

The rearguard, their foundation of steel for so long, has rusted. There is a desperation to pin these lethargic, alien performances to the absence of the influential Jordan Henderson. Liverpool would no doubt love to have their captain on the pitch instead of in treatment, but the backroom team and performance analysts know one player cannot solve all ills – even if Fabinho is struggling to return to his elite standards.

“Look, it went our way for so long because we defended outstandingly,” Klopp explained.

“Usually you don’t get a lot of chances against us and stuff like this, but now we have to admit that in the last three games – [maybe] four – we have conceded absolutely too many goals, that’s true.

Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian appears dejected after his error for Willian's goal (PA)

“From completely different situations, so it is not one problem, but we see it as well. I am not worried about the momentum – momentum is not something you get as a present, you have to get it to keep it.”

Liverpool currently are not in possession of it and that is a cause for anxiety with the return leg against Atleti creeping closer. Bournemouth would usually be seen as the perfect opponents to snap out of their downward spiral, but the Cherries were spirited against Chelsea and will be hopeful at Anfield on Saturday.

“They are fighting with all they have and they did really well against Chelsea,” Klopp noted.

“Nobody has to feel sorry for us, we will win football games and that is what we want to do on Saturday.”

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