Our view: Liverpool must learn from important West Ham lesson last season
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Our view: Liverpool must learn from important West Ham lesson last season

Liverpool may be changing the course of history as we know it but in every epic journey to greatness, there are some significant bumps along the way.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 04: Sadio Mane of Liverpool battles for possession with Declan Rice, Angelo Ogbonna and Ryan Fredericks of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool FC at London Stadium on February 04, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

From the 4-3 capitulation at Bournemouth to allowing Manchester City to run riot in the 5-0 Etihad defeat or the frankly embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur – Liverpool are not immune to that certain feeling of sheer misery.

The Reds may currently be an unrivalled entity but every beast has to change it’s nature if they are to climb to the top of the food chain.

That is exactly what Jurgen Klopp’s champions-elect have done as every footballing lesson became more profound than the last. The German manager has altered the team’s DNA entirely and has since evolved into the most formidable force currently operating in world football.

As the team continually seeks perfection on all fronts at West Ham United on Wednesday night, they can perhaps look at the only opposition the Reds are yet to get the better of this season and more importantly a ground where they experienced such an overt lesson last season.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 04: Michail Antonio of West Ham United celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool FC at London Stadium on February 04, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Let’s rewind a year to that dour 1-1 stalemate with the Hammers where Michael Antonio rolled through Liverpool’s channel unmarked after receiving a free-kick everyone expected to be a cross before hitting home a strike that would ultimately have drastic repercussions to the Reds’ title dreams.

Following that rare slip-up in the capital, Liverpool would later draw upon their defensive shortcomings that evening and would return to their potent best in-terms of defensive shape. Liverpool would go on to concede just seven goals for the remainder of the season and would drop just four points from January until May.

Klopp’s team have not conceded such a preventable goal since which pays testament to the adaptability of the German manger’s squad that has ultimately seen the team record 67 points from a possible 69 this season.

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp speaks to the officials after the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Liverpool at The London Stadium, in east London on February 4, 2019. – The game finished 1-1. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool have meticulously evaluated any potential shortcomings that saw them miss out on the title last campaign by a solitary point and have since formulated a winning-remedy that has been unrivalled all across Europe.

As the Reds travel to the home of David Moyes’ struggling side in search of their 23rd league win as well as the opportunity to end 125-years for a certain top-flight record, they will do so with the knowledge of what occurred last time around under the lights of the London Stadium.

Should the Premier League champions-elect make it 15 consecutive league victories, they will have beaten every opposition in the top-flight by January. Their unwavering demand for perfection is testament to the hardships that have been endured over the years. Klopp has ensured they have learnt and adapted from their previous shortcomings. It’s not in their nature to fail for a second time.

 

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