Liverpool lost 1-0 vs Leicester City on Tuesday evening with a disappointing performance. Here are five things we learned from the game.
Pressure is on
We learned something before this one – that Liverpool had all the pressure on them to win vs Leicester. The Reds boasted a fairly complete squad, after all, while the Foxes lacked several first-XI players.
It would make the game more routine than it otherwise would be at Leicester but Liverpool really lacked any and all excuses if they dropped points.
And that they did. Liverpool failed to score for the first time in a long, long while and allowed Leicester a winner from a small number of chances.
Largely, Liverpool were unfortunate. Kasper Schmeichel made some outstanding saves – especially from Mohamed Salah – that otherwise would have made this routine.
But the Reds just didn’t do enough to force a goal here. They had some good chances but failed to truly pile pressure on to buckle Leicester. Especially with such a weak Foxes side out there.
The Thiago problem
Diogo Jota didn’t have many touches in this one. It’s the first time in a while that’s happened as Jota has been playing the False 9 role to near-perfection recently.
But perhaps the lack of Thiago really hit Liverpool hard here. They lacked that midfield presence who could cut the ball between the lines and that saw Jota isolated against the deep midfield. Really, though, the team just didn’t flow as well without Thiago.
That’s now nine games without a goal for Sadio Mane – all of which were starts. In fact, he hasn’t had any assists for Liverpool in that time, either.
It isn’t to say that Mane is playing badly or not putting the work in. He’s had some really good games in that period and some match-winning moments. But things just won’t fall for him in the same way they used to.
Is it time to put Jota out wide and start Roberto Firmino? We’re not sure yet – but things continue to move in that direction.
We’re now halfway through the Premier League campaign and Liverpool sit six points behind Manchester City. On the face of it, that’s not terrible. Liverpool kicked off this season with several players returning from long-term injuries and haven’t been entirely flowing.
But the form over the last couple of months has been outstanding to the point where we thought Liverpool could sit in top spot. At the very least, they could have had the title in their hands. Instead, Liverpool are playing catchup after losing vs Leicester.
It’s not the end of the world but the Reds certainly aren’t the title favourites.