Liverpool setting records no team wants

Photo of author

By admin

There was certainly no capacity for mixed emotions as Liverpool suffered a crushing 7-2 English Premier League defeat on Sunday to Aston Villa, the reigning champion humbled by a team which had survived relegation by a single point last season. Pele coming out of retirement would have been more expected than the rout which unfolded at Villa Park.
Jurgen Klopp had not experienced such a heavy defeat in his managerial career; Liverpool had not conceded seven goals since April 1963.

It could have been worse — Villa should have scored more. Like a master cat burglar, Villa broke through Liverpool’s high defensive line with ease. By the end, Klopp could do little but laugh on the sidelines.

Indeed, according to analyst Opta, Liverpool is the first English top-flight champion to leak seven goals in a league match since Arsenal against Sunderland in 1953.

Having broken so many records last season on the way to securing a first league title in 30 years, Klopp’s men have started a new season setting records no team wants to hold.

“Years ago, we told ourselves we wanted to create history. That was history but obviously the wrong type,” Klopp told BBC Sport after the match.

Liverpool players react after Aston Villa's sixth goal.

It wasn’t until this February that Liverpool suffered its first league defeat of a championship-winning season. It wasn’t until the ninth league match of last season that Liverpool had conceded a total of seven league goals. Four games into a fresh campaign and Klopp’s side has conceded 11 — only one other team (newly-promoted West Bromich Albion on 13) has let in more.

It is too early to tell whether the capitulation against Aston Villa was a freak event or a match which exposed a serious flaw that could ruin the club’s chance of successfully defending its title.

Will other teams follow Villa’s blueprint and take advantage, or will Klopp reset the code to the lock which made his team such an impenetrable force over the last two years?

Liverpool certainly missed the presence of regular goalkeeper Alisson — the Brazilian suffered a shoulder injury in training and could be sidelined for four to six weeks — but the team managed without him for a number of games at the start of last season. His absence alone cannot explain such a performance, and neither can the absence of star striker Sadio Mane or captain Jordan Henderson.

Changing doubters to believers. How Jurgen Klopp turned Liverpool into title winners

Alisson’s deputy, Adrian, was certainly at fault for Villa’s opener, as it was his misplaced pass which found Ollie Watkins instead of the equally hapless Joe Gomez in the fourth minute, setting Villa’s striker on his way to a first-half hattrick and setting the tone for the evening.

But all of Liverpool’s players were dreadful. By half-time the team was 4-1 down and, as Klopp himself said afterwards: “Pretty much everyone made massive mistakes around the goals.”

“It is not often I have seen games like this, although I am old enough to know strange things can happen in football,” the German continued. “You could see in moments that in challenges Aston Villa wanted it more and that is something I saw and I don’t like.

“Is it a one-off? I would like to think so but the proof of that will be in the next couple of weeks or months. A game like that should not happen, 100 percent. It is important how we react.”

Ollie Watkins hits the bar as he searches for his fourth goal against Liverpool.

With no EPL matches until October 17 because of the international break, Liverpool’s players have time to lick their wounds, but the squad will only have a few training days together before the next league match against table-topper and city rival Everton — now an ominous-lookng fixture.

At least the Liverpool fans waking up on Monday feeling as dazed and confused as Tom after a run-in with Jerry can look up at the birds circling above their heads and take solace that Manchester United supporters are likely to be feeling as bad, if not worse.

According to Opta, Sunday was the first time the two great cubs had conceded six goals in a match on the same day.

Borussia Dortmund. The football factory where superstars are made

Villa’s thumping victory was the conclusion to a remarkable day in the English top flight as, just hours before, United had folded at home to Tottenham Hotspur, losing 6-1 to a team managed by former boss Jose Mourinho.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, opticians Specsavers tweeted: “We’re offering free tests for Premier League defenders from Monday.”

Arguably, Manchester United’s predicament is more problematic than Liverpool’s as Ole Gunnar Solskjær side, which finished third last season, has lost two of its opening three games and seems even more vulnerable in defense, a weakness from last season which has not been addressed.

“I hold my hand up, it is my fault. It’s very embarrassing, it hurt all the players, it hurts me as the manager. It’s my worst day ever,” the Norwegian told reporters after the match.

Mo Salah (right) and James Milner look on in Liverpool's thrashing by Aston Villa.

It has undoubtedly been an unusual start to the EPL season. Manchester City began it all last month, suffering a 5-2 loss at home to Leicester City, while it was Leicester — previously unbeaten — that started a surreal Sunday with a 3-0 loss to West Ham.

But such unpredictable giant-wallopings could have their benefits.

As former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher said on Sky Sports as he commented on Liverpool’s match against Aston Villa, it could make for a thrilling season. Liverpool — having won its opening three matches — had, after all, threatened to dominate the league just as it did last season in a one-sided title race.

Source link

Leave a Comment