Liverpool’s loss to Leeds United last night was the result of a game script we’ve seen play out ad nauseam over the course of this season. The Reds conceded early, managed to find an equalizer, failed to find a winner despite numerous chances to do so, and continued to gift the opposition chances through individual errors and poor defending, ultimately leading to a Leeds winner.
There is no doubt that problems in the midfield and defensive frailties are the biggest reason the Reds are dropping so many points, but they are usually creating enough chances to still earn results. Frustratingly, more often than not they are failing to capitalize on those chances, something Trent Alexander-Arnold addressed in his post-match interview with the LFC website last night.
“It’s difficult to take. You never want to lose at home – something we pride ourselves on,” said Alexander-Arnold. “For us, we want to win as many games as we can. It’s a disappointing result. We created enough chances to go and win that game but in football, you get punished for not taking your chances. We’ve been punished.”
The failure to finish has been the most frustrating part of a very frustrating season. Despite poor play from the midfield and defense, just a small improvement in finishing would see Liverpool earning many more points than they have thus far.
“It’s just one of those things. I think we are not in the greatest run of form – I think a lot of players would say that about themselves and as a team in general,” admitted the right back. “But we’re still creating our chances, we’re still creating opportunities to score goals and win games. But we just haven’t been able to take them, especially [in the] last two Premier League games.”
Like many fans, it sounds as though the players are looking forward to the World Cup break to try and reset, but they still have several more matches they’ll need to get through first.
“I think it’s important for us to regroup, assess what’s going wrong,” said Alexander-Arnold. “I think right now, it’s kind of, ‘Pick up as many points as you can now going into this break.’ And potentially this break will come at a decent time for us to reset and be able to get our heads straight to go into the second half of the season.”
It’s clear to all who are watching that something just isn’t quite right with this Liverpool squad, and it’s also clear from Trent’s comments that the players themselves are fully aware of that as well. They know their goals for the season are becoming increasingly difficult to achieve and they have to find a way to start picking up points.
“I’d say we all believe in ourselves, we believe in the way we play, we believe in the squad and what we can achieve. But I think when you do get setbacks, it can potentially make you second-guess yourself and question things. Clearly, as a team something’s not going right, it’s not going as well as we want it to go.
“That’s something for everyone to think about, that’s something for everyone to address and make sure we put it right, especially next week against Spurs, top-four rivals. We kind of need to go there and get some points if we’ve got any chance of reaching our aims and aspirations for the season.”