Diogo Jota believes he knows what’s missing with Liverpool’s form at Anfield. The forward has just returned from injury.
Diogo Jota is in a strange position. He’s just come back from injury after a near three-month absence.
But he’s returned to a completely different team. Jota picked up that injury on December 9th as Liverpool mounted a title challenge.
They were unbeaten at home in three-and-a-half years and would be top at Christmas. He was thriving after his £41m arrival and Liverpool were performing miracles despite the injuries.
Now Jota is back. Liverpool, though, are far from what they were. Instead, he came on as a sub to see the team lose their fifth consecutive home game.
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They’re also seventh – 22 points off top.
Liverpool have won just three Premier League games in 2021. All were away from home. They haven’t won at Anfield since beating Tottenham Hotspur on December 16th.
One week after Jota’s injury, then.
So what’s happened? Jota believes he knows the reason for the awful Anfield form.
“Even last season everyone was talking about the fortress and that kind of stuff,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com. “Obviously the fans were a big help to maintain that and we’ve lost that now, but it’s still our home and we still need to make the opponents feel like they can’t win games there.
“At the moment that’s not happening but we have another opportunity on Sunday to change that again.”
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Two things, then. One, the fans are gone and they help – that’s undeniably true.
But then, that is the same for everyone. It’s easier to win away now but no one else is going through such a wretched period of home form.
Jota’s second point is the big one. Teams feel they can win at Anfield now.
In fact, their form creates a horrible spiral of misery there. Every defeat shows it’s a little easier for teams, giving them more confidence and crippling Liverpool.
It makes the situation harder and harder to get out of. Fortunately, Liverpool can save things.
All they need is a little run of good home form and things look brighter. But then comes the catch – there are only five home games left.
Is there even time to re-created the ‘fortress’? We’re not sure. All that’s certain is a win over Fulham is the best possible start.