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Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s Defeat Against Leicester City

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This all feels very familiar.

Leicester City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

This is starting to feel worryingly familiar. Liverpool fail to do the business in the early part of a match and then fall to pieces by the end. This time, it was the early match at King Power Stadium, when Liverpool let in three late goals to fall to Leicester City 3-1.

It’s been a hard winter, and though we all understand that there are very real reasons for the Reds’ precipitous fall in form, it’s still be very difficult to watch this far fall. Another ‘uncharacteristic’ mistake by Alisson, which is starting to feel more and more ‘characteristic’, led to Leicester City’s second goal.

Fans can point to another frustrating VAR decision which declared Leicester’s marginal equalizer as onside, reversing the on pitch ruling. However, that doesn’t account for the subsequent second and third goals that came so soon after.

Deep breaths, Reds. At the end of the storm, etc.


Winners and Losers

Winners

Roberto Firmino

Maybe one of the most frustrating things about this result will be that it overshadows that absolutely delicious no-look back heel assist from Firmino to set up Mohamed Salah’s goal. It was classic Bobby, one for the highlight reel, and might end up being the assist of the season.

Mohamed Salah

Salah scored Liverpool’s only goal of the game. Not only that, but he had some real penalty shouts in the first half. In another game, with another player, the Reds may have been two goals to the good by halftime, but wasn’t what Anthony Taylor and lady luck had in store for us today.

Losers

Ozan Kabak

You have to feel for the guy. He made his debut at the back for Liverpool and did an unremarkable, if serviceable job for most of the match. Then he became another victim of the Reds’ implosion at the end of the game, and his mistake allowed Jamie Vardy to score Leicester’s second.

VAR Consistency

It’s been a long time since fans had any real faith in the referees’ abilities to consistently and accurately make the right call using the VAR technology. Today was another nail in the coffin of that trust, when Leicester’s first goal was deemed onside...somehow. Absurd.

Alisson Becker

Pour one out for Alisson’s lost aura of invincibility. His gloves used to be the safest place in football, but the collapse of Liverpool’s defense has finally reached him. Several significant errors in the past few games have revealed that the Brazilian is human after all.



What Happens Next

God, who knows? Liverpool have to find a way to push through this. The spring is going to be about salvaging the Champions League and fighting for a top four place. This isn’t what any of us hoped for when we imagined a Reds’ title defense, but fate has dealt the team a crappy hand this season. It seems that back-to-back European and league titles were all the luck we could wring out of the universe.

Long term, we have Diogo Jota and Fabinho’s returns to look forward to this season. Kabak didn’t set the world on fire, but having him as an option will give Klopp more flexibility in his team set-ups.

Klopp and his team need to figure how to pull themselves out of this morass. Could a change in formation be the answer? Some other Klopp magic? Or is it just a matter of waiting for some of our injured players to return?