Klopp should be worried about Liverpool dip in form
Liverpool’s season has been nothing short of phenomenal. They are the earliest Premier League champions. They won the league with seven games to spare. With this achievement, they beat the previous record set by Manchester United in 2000/01 and Man City in 2017/18. They both won the league with five matches remaining.
The Reds also have the Premier League records for the biggest home wins, with 24 home wins. Their 3-2 win over West Ham in February was their 21 consecutive victories. Klopp’s winning machine is relentless. At a point in the current season, they had 25 point lead in the league. This is the biggest point lead ever in Premier League history.
In recent weeks since the restart, there has been a significant drop in their performance level. They dropped more points than they did the entire season. The Merseyside derby against Everton ended in a bore 0-0 draw. They drew 1-1 against Burnley. Liverpool suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss to Man City. Ironically, this was the match they received a guard of honor from the defending champion.
The 2-1 loss to Arsenal on Wednesday evening proved the inconsistency in Liverpool display since they were confirmed champions. That loss means they can no longer match or beat Man City 100-point haul in 2017/18. They started the game brightly with Mane opening the scoreline after a neat interplay with Firmino and Robertson. They dominated the game and it looked like they will compound Arsenal misery with more goals.
Ten minutes later, Van Dijk collected a pass but took far too much time on it. Reiss Nelson pressed and dispossessed him feeding Lacazette to score. Just before half time, another error this time from Allison Becker led to a second Arsenal goal. His attempted pass to Robertson was horribly short. Lacazette intercepted and fed Nelson, who scored. It was 2-1 at half time. The match was the first time Liverpool surrendered a lead from a winning position since December 2016.
Liverpool dominated possession with 68.9% and had 23 shots. Arsenal on the other hand had just 2 shots but they took their chances. Mo Salah was particularly disappointing wasting some good chances from promising positions. Liverpool probed throughout the match but could not penetrate a compact Arsenal team that defended their lead till the end.
It is surprising that Van Dijk and Allison Becker two players that have been the foundation of Liverpool’s impressive season were culprits here. Maybe fatigue and lack of motivation have started creeping in. In the last 10 games, Becker has only 3 clean sheets. He can still secure the Premier League Golden boot.
Liverpool can still end the season strongly. If they win their remaining fixtures against Chelsea and Newcastle, they will equal Man City’s previous records of 32 wins in a season. They can also Manchester United and Chelsea records of 18 home victories in a single season campaign. They have 17 already. It is always difficult trying to motivate a team that has won but Klopp needs to find a way to achieve that.