Alisson is one of the best ‘keepers to ever wear the Liverpool shirt. But recent matches have made him look sub-par.
Another night when finishing in the top four became a little more difficult for Liverpool in the new year.
The Reds continue to make things more difficult for themselves; Monday was the 13th time in 26 matches across all competitions this season that they conceded the first goal as part of a dreadful first-half performance.
Liverpool would have been hoping to leapfrog Tottenham into fifth place, but depending on other results over the next few days, they could now drop seven points behind the top four.
Liverpool’s shoddy defending
Klopp’s men had looked to vanquish their defending demons before the World Cup break. The fans were assured that Liverpool had addressed their defensive and midfield issues during the World Cup break.
Although, recent results against Leicester City (where Liverpool were second best for large parts of the match) and the woeful (frankly painful) performance against Brentford suggest otherwise.
The Reds seemed to have forgotten the basics of tracking runners and marking attackers. There is also a lack of emphasis on winning second balls. Elliot and Henderson looked particularly out of their depth against Leicester and Brentford. Henderson with his wayward passing and Elliot with his nonchalant midfield performance.
Blame must also reach Klopp’s doorstep. As Jurgen has insisted on relying on Elliot even though he lacks the fundamentals of an elite midfielder. Additionally, Darwin Nunez’s failure in front of the goal has resulted in a system geared towards the wrong focal point.
Nonetheless, it was concerning how vulnerable Liverpool appeared in both dead-ball situations. Even in open play, their strong defensive line will be the source of much criticism and concern.
In previous seasons, Liverpool had two elite wingers to stretch the field. They also had Firmino who linked up the attack and acted as the 4th midfielder. Firmino counter-pressed and won balls if the forwards failed to launch the offensive.
However, Liverpool’s midfield and Nunez seem to be on different bandwidths. Additionally, Nunez also doesn’t have someone to play one-two in attacking scenarios. The worst part is that Thiago was the one who played the long pass into Nez, but he was also the first and only one to close down the Brentford player after the ball was lost. Klopp’s counter-pressing structure is shattered.
Liverpool lost their identity of midfield compactness/physicality to sustain wave after wave of pressure. All of these problems have led to a fall in the numbers of Liverpool’s best player
Liverpool has now conceded the same number of Premier League goals in 2022/23 as they did in Alisson’s first season. Alisson ranks amongst the best in Europe’s Top 5 leagues when it comes to saves made. Alisson looks to be on a completely different level this season. The naked eye test reveals the same. He has made saves that looked nigh impossible.
Subsequently, he has saved Liverpool’s bacon on multiple occasions. Despite this amazing run of form, Alisson has his worst record yet in a Liverpool shirt.