That’s the question that must dominate the minds of frustrated Liverpool fans the world over.
How is it possible for this team to demolish its historic rivals, who were themselves on terrific form, a few days ago in a display that will not be forgotten for generations to come, to then be beaten so… easily… by a team seemingly headed for inevitable relegation? The team that before the game was dead last in the league?
There are so many explanations, but in the end, this is one of those where the only thing that matters is the result, and everything else is an excuse. We’ve seen this from Liverpool before, with big wins often followed by – and I’m being charitable here – lackluster displays. Pep’s city seems able to go from strength to strength when they win big, but Klopp’s Liverpool doesn’t. Perhaps there is a lesson there, but it’s a tough one to apply. That is, how do you rotate the guys from the United match out of the squad for the next game? “Yo, guys, terrific job, now it’s time to go on the bench because you’re utter shite at following through in the next game.”
Good luck with that.
When has Salah ever actually missed the goal on a penalty kick? I don’t remember. I’m not even sure if he’s ever failed to put it on target, at least not for Liverpool. Of course, today would be the day. The Reds finally get a penalty for the first time this season, and Mr. Reliable himself puts it about as far out as I expect I would have in similar circumstances (although, granted, with far more power).
Remember the part about Van Dijk scoring headers from set pieces when he gets a good opportunity? Yeah, I don’t either. He whiffed an absolute sitter today, and the worst part was that it looked like he didn’t give it a real go. The same goes for the Cherries’ goal, in which Van Dijk stopped running in that special way that Bruno Fernandez – yeah, that guy – did in last week’s romp.
Pressing? What pressing? The only team pressing consistently today was the hosts, and they could well have scored more. The Reds ran out of gas within 15 minutes in each half. The thing is, without forcing those turnovers by swarming the ball in midfield, Liverpool doesn’t generate quality chances, and the front three end up looking miserable, even downright pathetic. The same front three, mind you, that ended up with a brace each against United.
I’m not selecting a man of the match. If you really twist my arm, I’d give it to Konate, who was average, in what amounts to high praise in today’s performance. No, Bournemouth weren’t particularly good, either, but their average overall performance was far, far better than the Red’s abysmal one.
I guess Klopp feels like he needs to win the Europa League to round out the trophy cabinet. I wish to remind him that he hasn’t won the Conference League, either, so there’s that.