Liverpool’s past four league games have seen Jürgen Klopp’s defending champion Reds score just a single goal while dropping nine points and falling from first to fourth in the table, a point ahead of Tottenham in fifth and two clear of Everton in sixth—with their local rivals holding a game in hand.
Goals have dried up, but even the underlying numbers aren’t great: Liverpool’s cumulative expected goals across those four games has been 5.34 for to 3.25 against. Put another way, they’ve created chances worth about a goal and a third per game and been a half goal better than their opponents.
Liverpool’s problems, whatever they may be, aren’t restricted to the front three’s finishing running cool. However, when it comes to Liverpool’s problems—be they scoring goals or potential tiredness—Klopp thinks it’s all rather overstated. It’s been a poor month for the Reds, but this is still a good side.
“It’s about the whole team,” Klopp noted at his pre-match press conference. “The boys know goals are not flying in right and left at the moment so you just have to work at it. There will be a moment when we start scoring again. If you can stay calm and make good decisions the situation will change.
“Nobody is tired, nobody is fatigued. It plays absolutely no role. We are as fresh as possible. Other teams knew what we were doing last year but it was still difficult to defend. Most of the chances, the really good chances, we don’t miss because of how teams defend we miss because we don’t use them.”
The Liverpool manager also rejected the idea that opponents have collectively had a lightbulb moment. That around Christmas the rest of the league suddenly figured out how to stop them after mostly knowing what Liverpool would do—and mostly failing to stop them doing it—the past two seasons.
“We have to finish off chances with a better shot or play the last pass in a better way,” he added. “That’s the reason. Teams defend against us with all they have, that’s not new, but in the moment you say we have a defensive crisis and everybody knows how to deal with us and that’s the headline.”