Wow, Liverpool. Has there been a less impressive title defence in English football history? I think back to Leeds after they won the last First Division title or Chelsea after one of Mourinho’s Premier League wins that led to his sacking.
But it’s not as if they dominated teams as much as Liverpool dominated the Premier League last season – so the fall from grace for Jurgen Klopp’s side here is far greater than anything seen.
As experts at Jackpot Jones predicted, Liverpool dominated the ball for most of their 3-1 loss to Leicester City on Saturday. So much so, Leicester hardly had the ball in the first-half – but they did have the best chances, all of which falling to the jet-heeled Jamie Vardy.
Vardy could have had a first-half treble, heading one straight at Alisson, blasting one against the bar, nearly lobbing one in and then seeing Liverpool’s keeper standing tall as the Leicester striker tried to nip round him.
Four decent-ish chances created off about 24% possession – as Jose will tell you: stats, stats and damn lies.
Liverpool took the lead in the second half – Bobby Firmino’s most delightful of assists will be forgotten due to the result, but it was, well, delightful. Mo Salah’s curled finish was half decent as well.
But the tables turned in six minutes at the King Power. James Maddison thought he’d won a penalty (mainly because the ref had given one) before VAR pointed out that the foul needed to happen inside the area for it to be given as such. No matter for Maddo as he stepped up and put it in ‘that area’ which keepers hate – players running across the whipped delivery, a bounce right in the six-yard box and the ball ends up in the back of the net. Cue celebrations, cue lino’s flag 20 seconds late as ever.
VAR were back in the game, once again correctly ruling that Daniel Amarty was not offside so the goal had to stand.
Did that mess with Alisson’s head? Was that the reason he came charging out of his goal for no apparent reason, frightening debutant Kabak into slicing a clearance into the path of Vardy who just had to run the ball into the empty net? Quite possibly, I mean not many people have had worse weeks than Alisson in fairness.
More concerning, if you are dissecting the debut of a young Turkish central defender who has only won once in his last 30 games or so, was the way he was stranded three metres deeper than the rest of Liverpool’s back four as Harvey Barnes received the ball – or maybe it was the way that Barnes accelerated away from young Kabak in a way that suggested Liverpool’s new number 19 had concrete boots on? Barnes finished well and the game was dead and buried.
As are Liverpool’s Champions League qualification hopes and dreams, if you buy into all the negative hype – which, I have to say, I think I do.
The wheels are off. And as we said at the top of the piece – in a finely tuned orchestra, it only takes one flute to be out of tune and the whole thing sounds rotten.