Challenges for Liverpool: missing Salah, defensive struggles, and mental tests

Mohamed Salah

In football, it’s often said that you only realize how important a player is when they’re not there. This was clear during Liverpool’s game against Arsenal when they faced problems because some players were unavailable. Even though they tried to make up for Mohamed Salah not playing, losing to Arsenal showed how much they missed him. Diogo Jota didn’t play as well as before, and Ryan Gravenberch didn’t perform as expected. But instead of panicking, this loss should remind us of how well Liverpool has managed challenges lately.

Defensive struggles at the Emirates: Alexander-Arnold’s Challenges

Trent Alexander-Arnold has had mixed experiences at the Emirates Stadium lately. Last season, he had a bad defensive game and got injured, and in January, despite playing well, he got hurt again. There was debate about whether he should play in this game, but Conor Bradley’s absence due to personal reasons settled that. In his first start since his injury, Alexander-Arnold seemed rusty, slow to react to Arsenal’s attacks. It was clear Liverpool didn’t plan for him to play the entire match.

Alexander-Arnold wasn’t the only defender struggling; Virgil van Dijk seemed uneasy early on, and Ibrahima Konate got a red card late in the game. Only Joe Gomez played close to his usual level. This was an unusual performance for Liverpool’s usually strong defense.

Liverpool’s difficulties against top-tier opponents

If Liverpool doesn’t win the Premier League title under Jurgen Klopp, it will be clear where they need to improve. They struggled again in a game against a top rival, earning only seven points in seven matches against other big teams, while Arsenal got 12 points in six games. However, Liverpool has more chances to win in upcoming games at Anfield.
The crucial aspect now is how Liverpool tackles the challenges following this loss. It’s worrying that they couldn’t secure victories immediately after previous defeats this season, indicating they face mental challenges ahead.

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