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Liverpool Have “Defended Badly” Admits Emre Can

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Everyone can see that Liverpool have struggled defensively this year, but that’s not the real problem.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Liverpool may only be a point off fourth and two off third, but after a month of bad results the situation feels far worse than that one-point gap, and that’s in large part due to Liverpool’s continuing struggles to convince when asked to play defence.

Their 12 goals conceded stands them near the bottom of the goals against table, with only Crystal Palace and West Ham having let in more. Still, if they were scoring more, nobody would much be talking about that according to Emre Can.

“It’s definitely a fact that we have recently defended badly and conceded too many goals,” Can told Bild when asked about his club’s struggles while on international duty with Germany. “But I still believe if we score goals, we win the games.”

And he probably isn’t wrong. After all, it doesn’t really matter what route a side takes to increasing its goal differential—score more of concede fewer, either way adds up to more wins and points. So for this Liverpool side, maybe that’s it.

The defence is, at best, not this Liverpool side’s strength. But it isn’t going to be fixed, not this month and probably not this season. When it comes to the attack, on the other hand, more goals can reasonably expected from this group of players.

Or at least more than the 13 goals scored so far, fourth best in the league behind Tottenham’s 14 but miles off the Manchester clubs, with City having scored 22 and United 21 so far to set the pace—a pace Liverpool need to close in on.

“The coach himself says we haven’t played badly,” Can added. “We dominated the opponents in all games and were the better team. Only the necessary luck is missing to return to winning.”