Have you finished opening your presents? Did you eat your Christmas ham? Are you family members out the door? Good, because Christmas is over and tomorrow Liverpool have work to do. The Reds will welcome last place Swansea City to Anfield for the late game, and they’ll be hoping for a palate cleanser to wash away the bitter taste of that Arsenal draw.
Most teams that concede three goals in five minutes are doomed to come away with no points. It was only due to Firmino’s heroics that Liverpool salvaged a point out of the whole mess. They’ll need to do better than that headed into the new year if they want to keep a hold of the top four.
Liverpool this season have a tendency to blow out the teams below them, especially at home. Hopefully that will continue when Swansea come calling on Boxing Day.
Manager Jürgen Klopp has heard your complaints about the team’s recent defensive performances, and he’s not here for it. In fact, he emphasized in his pre-game presser that Liverpool’s first thought is always to defend.
“The best thing is to defend with 10 offensive players, because when you have the ball then it's much more likely that you will score,” he said. “That will never happen, but we are this kind of mixture. We conceded no counter-attacks on Friday, again. They had no real chances apart from those five minutes.
“We can't ignore that, but apart from that, not really. But on the other hand we created a lot and that's how football should be, then you win the games. We didn't here, but we know already that we have to take the hard way. It's our problem. That's why we are where we are.
“We have a defending approach. We probably played a 4-5-1 (against Arsenal) with a responsibility to defend, as long as the players do it then we can line up quite offensively player-wise. There's nobody on the pitch who is not involved with defending.
“They have to do what they have to do. The goals were not because they players weren't defending. The goals came because we let them cross, which is what happens in a football game. We let them shoot, and that also happens in a football game.”
That’s as generous a reading of the outcome of that game as you’re likely to see. It ignores the individual errors that lead to the goals, as well as the general breakdown of the whole team early in that second half. He also fails to recognize that Friday’s game wasn’t an anomaly, but a very worrisome trend for the team this season.
But it’s Christmas, eh? Perhaps a little forgiveness and good cheer are in order. And if Liverpool can win on Tuesday, I’m sure we’ll all be more inclined towards both.