A third defeat for Liverpool in as many games at Anfield as the Reds title defence now looks all but over.
Goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden & Raheem Sterling saw off any threat from the Reds this evening. It was another display from Jürgen Klopp’s men that left a lot to be desired and left fans wondering where the team can go from here.
Here are the major talking points from the defeat to Manchester City:
Lack of Intensity
The theme of recent weeks continued on Sunday night, with Liverpool again lacking any real intensity in their play. There were few clear cut chances again for the Reds throughout the game, with the only goal coming after a wonderful pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold left Ruben Dias with no choice but to foul Mo Salah.
After a goalless first half, Liverpool were second best. Manchester City were first to every loose ball, constantly pushing Liverpool’s makeshift defence. Liverpool rarely threatened to get going in the game. It’s a worrying time for Klopp as this is becoming too common a problem to ignore.
It was a lack of intensity and determination that allowed Sterling to waltz past both Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho that resulted in City’s opener.
After Liverpool had got themselves back into things through Salah’s penalty, the game looked there for the taking. Instead, Alisson twice passed the ball to the opposition attackers to have an easy run at goal. This put the game out of Liverpool’s sight before they could even respond.
The Brazilian has been an integral part of our success over the past two seasons. Tonight was one to forget. Whether it can be partly put down to poor positioning from the outfield players, Alisson was careless in possession.
This isn’t a trend that you’d expect to continue like other ongoing issues. However, it is a large reason of why tonights game was lost. It’s something that will need addressing with big games coming up.
Three Defeats in a Row at Anfield
Anfield has been a fortress under Klopp. You felt confident no matter who the opposition was. After losing the unbeaten record against Burnley, things have gone from bad to worse. Defeats to Brighton and now City have left Liverpool 10 points behind first place and in a dogfight for Champions League football.
Whether it’s injuries, the lack of fans or something bigger, these are worrying times for the club. This is the first time they have lost three consecutive league games at home since 1963/64. There are massive games coming thick and fast too. Leicester, RB Leipzig and Everton are still to be played this month. If Liverpool aren’t careful, things could get much worse before they get better.
It’s clear something needs to change. Injuries are of course a factor but the players aren’t performing to a level they are expected to. The introduction of Kabak, combined with the returns of Jota and Keïta will help. But Liverpool need to rediscover the intensity that made them champions of Europe, England & the World.
Next up is Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. The management and players have six days in training to solve the issues that they are currently having. While the title might be out of reach, there is still a Champions League and Top 4 place to fight for.