Every season will inevitably have its ups and downs. Every season has difficult results and dropped points that don’t feel deserved. Every season has times when the injuries seem to be piling up and events are conspiring against you.
It just doesn’t often happen in the first two weeks. Not when you’re meant to be challenging for the title. Not when you know something not far off perfection is needed to keep up with a sportswashing front for a human rights abusing petrostate like Manchester City.
Still, with 36 games to go there’s plenty of time for Liverpool to get their season on track, and as much as it feels like perfection is needed in a race with City, the Reds’ presumed main title rivals will have their own stumbles eventually.
“We came here to win,” noted Harvey Elliott following Monday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. “Unfortunately we couldn’t do that but it’s a point. We haven’t been beaten, which is the main thing, and we’re just going to take it and hopefully we can put it right.”
Two draws to start the season, including to newly promoted Fulham, feel as though they’re significant negative results, but across the two games the Reds haven’t played poorly—and Elliott was a particular standout on Monday.
Nobody in the Premier League has created as much in attack as the Reds, who have 4.58 xG from their opening two matches but just two goals to show for it. Defensively, too, they’ve been solid enough, conceding 2.91 xGA worth of chances.
Run through the games against Fulham and Palace again with the chances they created and conceded and you’d expect them to have come away with six points of a possible six more often than not and for the mood to be optimistic.
“It was a sucker punch, to be honest,” Elliott added of Palace’s goal on Monday, which came at a time when Liverpool were well ahead in the run of play and thoroughly dominating their opponents and set the Reds on their heels.
“It felt like we were all over them. We had so many chances, including for myself, that we couldn’t put away. It’s a learning curve and we have to make sure that next time we take those chances and come away with a win.”