Liverpool Falling out of Rhythm in Jurgen Klopp’s Last Dance

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Jurgen Klopp’s Last Dance: Liverpool Losing their Balance at the Top

Just two weeks ago, Liverpool found themselves top of the Premier League table and comfortably in pursuit of three trophies. In the brutal nature of football, they now find themselves on the brink of a rather disappointing season. Following their exit out of the FA Cup to Manchester United, the Reds have dropped five points in the title race and find themselves 3-0 down in the Europa League Quarter-Final.

In what was starting to look like a potentially historic farewell campaign for Jurgen Klopp, the disappointment is clearly oozing out of the Liverpool squad and fanbase at the moment. However, what has actually gone wrong for Klopp’s side over recent weeks?

Liverpool’s Lack of Cutting Edge

There’s been very few spells of Jurgen Klopp’s nine year tenure where the clinical nature of the forwards has come under scrutiny. However, after a run of woeful performances in front of goal, the pressure is well and truly mounting on them. It’s not just the usual criticism of the likes of Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo either, with even Mo Salah’s performances raising questions lately.

Photo: IMAGO

For example, Liverpool created a total xG of 2.87 in their game against Crystal Palace. This is the most they have ever recorded in a Premier League match without scoring, as revealed by Opta. If you combine their creative performances against Atalanta and Crystal Palace, the Reds would have a total xG of 5.47 whilst also averaging 70% possession and haven’t managed to score in either of those games.

Stretch it back even further to the past three games, and Liverpool would have created a total of 9.66 xG without winning a single one of those games. With four away games over the next ten days, it’s hard to see Liverpool picking up the required points with their obviously blunt attack. Huge improvements are needed in that department – especially if the Reds are eyeing a comeback against Atalanta.

Klopp’s Leaky Defence

At one point this season, Liverpool had the best defence in the Premier League, but those times are long gone. The Reds haven’t kept a single clean sheet in their last nine games across all competitions. They have also only managed five clean sheets in the entirety of 2024 so far, which is incredibly hard to comprehend.

Photo: IMAGO

Obviously Liverpool have had horrific luck in that department over recent months, with Alisson Becker, Ibou Konate, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Joel Matip all suffering serious injuries. Virgil Van Dijk has obviously done his best to keep the defence as tight as possible – but it was never going to last forever.

Perhaps the craziest stat behind Liverpool’s leaky defence, is that they have went behind in 21 games this season. Obviously, when you mix a wasteful attack with a leaky defence, you’re never going to get near winning the Premier League title.

Rising Midfield Issues

Alexis Mac Allister and Wataru Endo have both been standout performers for the Reds this season, but they’re starting to look absolutely knackered. Both have played so much football and as a 31-year-old, Endo is starting to really suffer. Their struggles have been compounded by the injuries to Curtis Jones and Dominik Szoboszlai, but either way, it’s leaving Jurgen Klopp in a really difficult position.

Photo: IMAGO

With no natural back up to Endo at the base of the midfield, Klopp really has his hands tied as to what he can with his midfield in terms of tactics. Of course you could move Mac Allister back to the six and rotate the two over the next few games, but the worrying form of Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch makes that decision slightly more complicated.

Looking Ahead

Regardless of which of these issues you think is the most worrying, Liverpool are clinging onto this Premier League title race for dear life. They undoubtedly need to be perfect for every remaining game this season to even stand a chance of winning one of the two trophies left to win.

Attention now turns to the away leg against Atalanta, where the Reds find themselves down by three goals. That game marks the start of a four game away run, all in the space of ten days.

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