The Reds had not tasted a Premier League defeat at their fortress Anfield since April 2017.
After demolishing Crystal Palace 0-7 in December, Liverpool have not won a single match and have scored only 1 goal in the following 5 games.
What has happened to Liverpool?
Liverpool won the Premier League last season on a seemingly endless wave of goals and attacking moves involving Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
They look blunt in front of goal and Jurgen Klopp is searching for answers.
“There’s no easy explanation. We have always missed chances, but we would just have another one which we used and that’s how it is. But we have to keep going.”
“You have to try to ignore the talk around, because that’s how it is. It’s football, everybody wants to see goals; if you don’t score goals, everybody talks about it.”Klopp after the draw against Manchester United
There is no single factor behind Liverpool’s goals drying up, there are several areas of concern that are contributing to the issue.
Trent Alexander Arnold has not been the same since returning from injury. The young star has one assist since September and that was the fourth goal against Crystal Palace.
The loss of Van Dijk has weakened Liverpool defensively, it has also impacted on the team’s attacking play. Without their best defender, Klopp’s team is now defending deeper.
Liverpool scored 11 goals in 4 league games before his injury at a rate of 2.75 a game. They have scored 26 in 14 games since, at a ratio of 1.86 goals a game. The goals-per-game ratio without Van Dijk drops to just 1.46 if we take out a 7-0 win against Crystal Palace.
The loss of Jota to an injury has also impacted Liverpool. Jota netted five goals in 9 Premier League appearances, with his strikes against Sheffield United and West Ham proving to be decisive in a narrow 2-1 win.
Liverpool’s attacking trio is not doing well even though Salah is Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goals. Mane has now not scored in the last 4 league games, Firmino’s lack of goal threat has become an issue and Salah seems to have lost his focus after an interview with AS, where he spoke about his admiration of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
At the end of the day it could be something as simple as the fact that maybe the other clubs have figured Liverpool out, the key players are the same and maybe Klopp needs to now find a way to outsmart them to end this goal drought.