Liverpool headed into the season with hopes and expectations sky high. A stumbling start with a pair of points to show for their first three games in an injury-plagued August have rather drained much of the positivity, but this remains one of the best sides in football.
The effort to get the season belatedly on track, then, begins on Saturday when newly promoted Bournemouth visit Anfield. On paper, it’s a game the Reds should win easily. But nothing about this season so far has been easy, and they may need the help of the home crowd.
“There’s nothing like the Liverpool fans because they just support you through thick and thin,” said Fabio Carvalho, one of Liverpool’s standouts in limited minutes to start the season and a player many expect to get the nod on the weekend. “It’s the 12th man, it’s literally the 12th man because they keep us going.
“Like the Palace game, where we went a man down, we had 10 men, they kept us going and we got the draw. And if there was a bit longer in the game we probably could have won the game.”
In the game against Crystal Palace, their second of the season,Liverpool were the better side based on the underlying metrics but went a goal down early and when they did come back to level it didn’t have the time to turn that into a win.
It was much the same story in their opening day draw against Fulham, the Reds going down twice and both times fighting to equalise in a game where the numbers said they were the better side. And again in the third game against Manchester United—only against United they ran out of time and lost 2-1 after clawing one back.
It’s been a difficult start, an injury-ravaged side winning the expected goals, shots, and possession battles in three games but ending up with two draws and a loss, but Carvalho believes in the togetherness of the players despite that and thinks the results will come.
“I’m sure we’ll be able to show our togetherness on and off the pitch and that will result in better results,” he added. They’ll have to, starting against Bournemouth on Saturday, lest the Reds risk their league season being over in August.