Liverpool’s recent form in away matches is becoming increasingly worrying. They have just a single victory in their last five outings away from Anfield. Although some results, like the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, were influenced by last-minute events and disputed refereeing decisions, these games point to deeper issues within the team.
The inability to secure wins against the likes of Luton Town and Toulouse is particularly concerning. Neither side is performing particularly well in their respective domestic competition.
In the game against Luton, Liverpool struggled with their counter-pressing. They also missed several key scoring opportunities against the relegation-battling side.
Against Toulouse, defensive lapses were apparent, most notably from Kostas Tsimikas, who was substituted at halftime. The team also lost a significant number of duels, especially on the Greek international’s side.
The Reds’ game management and ball control were lacking. This was clearly illustrated by a reduced pass completion rate in crucial areas of the pitch. Toulouse, learning from their previous heavy loss at Anfield, played a more conservative and structured game. The French side successfully exploited Liverpool’s defensive vulnerabilities.
The Second Unit And City
The absence of key defenders such as Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate as well as all-world keeper Alisson added to the difficulties. The European performances of Tsimikas, backup keeper Caoimhin Kelleher, and Joel Matip were notably subpar. Despite these challenges, the hope for this season is that these poor away performances become rarities rather than regularities.
That would give us some solace ahead of some treacherous away fixtures in the holiday period, most of all in the early kickoff against Manchester City. With a dense schedule, Klopp faces the task of effectively managing his squad and properly rotating. His ability to do this, especially away from Anfield, is one of the main keys to maintaining Liverpool’s competitiveness in their quest for trophies in 2024.