It’s hard to believe it, but this could have ended much worse.
Like an untreated wound left to fester, the lack of blood flow (service) has led to the death of body tissue (attacking threat). For large parts of this game, Liverpool played a 4-0-3 formation; yes, we technically had some players in the midfield, but only nominally. Liverpool might as well have switched to an actual 5-0-5 and just blasted long balls upfield, hoping somebody might get on the end of one. I pretty much only remembered Thiago was in the lineup about forty minutes in when he fouled somebody.
I mean, 38% possession against Brighton?
Thankfully the Seagulls aren’t very good on set pieces, because they would have murdered us otherwise. They still managed a goal off one, a lovely Welbeck finish, if you consider a throw-in a set piece, which it clearly is against Liverpool these days. We’re not quite as bad as we were under Hodgson yet, but the fact that this even makes for an apt comparison is, to be Britishly (is that a word? It should be a word) understated, disappointing.
Oddly, the best part of the Reds today was the back line. They were the only ones that deserved a rating higher than zero, at least until the subs came in. Doak, Harvey, and Keita injected some energy into the midfield, and suddenly Liverpool looked like it might get on the score sheet, especially as Trent was making magic happen with those twisted passes of his. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anybody who could convert up front. Certainly not someone as composed as, say, Solly March, whose second goal was downright magnificent. There was nothing Alisson could do about it or either of the other two.
The reality is that the Reds, at present, are performing like the mid-table side that they are. In fact, in some ways Liverpool is punching above their weight; I was all set to count how many second balls Liverpool won, but gave up in the 60th minute or so when my notepad remained pristine. Plenty of injuries, yes, but this same team has done well even in worse conditions just recently. The operative word there is “same”, and it tells you the whole story; with no new blood in a rapidly aging midfield, the blood flow stops and the limb dies.
You could pick one of several Brighton players for man-of-the-match, but I’ll go with Mitoma, who proved impossible to handle. Based on Klopp’s past behavior, I expect to see us make an offer for him shortly, just like we did with Taki. So yeah.
Oh, there’s a tie against Los Blancos coming up. In this sort of form, don’t expect any sort of revenge.
They’ll tear us apart.