After a difficult start to the 2022-23 season, Liverpool looked to have recovered over an eight day stretch that saw them hammer Ranges 7-1 in the Champions League, battle to a 1-0 victory over title favourites Manchester City, and then manage a 1-0 win over West Ham.
Then things took a turn back towards the worse as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest—the bottom side in the table until they beat the Reds. Now, they turn their attention back to Europe, looking to improve the mood and secure advancement to the knockout rounds.
“We were now in a good moment until we lost to Nottingham Forest in a strange game with a lot of problems for us,” reflected manager Jürgen Klopp at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. “So, do I expect us to play better consistently? Yes. Am I ready to make the necessary steps to get there? Yes.
“Good performances on a consistent level don’t fall off trees, you have to work for it and that’s what we are doing. We are working and trying to turn each screw and will do that without being nervous or thinking something is going against us.”
It certainly felt a little like football was conspiring against the Reds against Nottingham, with Virgil van Dijk in particular missing three wide open chances—not the only opportunities wasted but perhaps the most obvious.
While they have struggled in the league for much of the start of 2022-23, though, the picture in Europe is a little rosier as they sit second in their group, six points ahead of Ajax with two games to play. That means any kind of a result for them tomorrow will guarantee their advancement.
“We know it is a difficult situation, it will be difficult tomorrow away against Ajax,” Klopp added. “But I think it makes sense to be optimistic and that’s what I am. We have to try to close it for us, the group, and that’s what we’re here for.”