Jurgen Klopp tasted his first defeat as Liverpool boss when Crystal Palace won 1-2 at Anfield last night. The Eagles have been Liverpool’s bogey team for a long time and if the Reds thought things would change under a new boss, Pardew and co. clearly had other plans.
Here are the four things worth mentioning after the game:
1. Klopp presses an important issue
Liverpool supporters pride themselves on being the best fans in the league. The “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, the red banners and flags, the famous Kop are things which have earned them the tag but it has been a long while since Anfield has been that great.
“After the goal on 82 minutes, with 12 minutes to go, I saw many people leaving the stadium. I felt pretty alone at this moment,” said Klopp after the game.
But what is most important is what he mentioned next
“We decide when it is over. Between 82 and 94 [minutes] you can make eight goals if you like. We are responsible that nobody can leave the stadium before the final whistle because anything can happen.”
It is easy to criticise the fans but in the end, it is also about how the team they are supporting is playing. After a glorious 2013-14 season, the Reds got sucked into a void filled with negativity for large parts of last season and it is something that clearly made a drastic effect on the fans. They aren’t used to turnarounds. In fact, nobody was expecting Liverpool to actually come back and win the game against Chelsea last weekend. It will take time for Jurgen Klopp to ensure he can get his team to play that exciting brand of football that can make the supporters believe utterly and completely in their team.
2. Jordon Ibe is getting his confidence back
Liverpool fans’ trust in Jordon Ibe following the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City seemed stupid after the first few games as the teenager put on largely mediocre performances. But the Liverpool fans have a reason to be cheerful once again as Ibe looks like a man transformed in the last few games. Getting his first full start in the league after August, Ibe looked composed and confident, sometimes even a little too confident for his own good. He beat Palace defenders with ease and was often the most threatening Liverpool attacker.
Klopp has got Ibe to trust in his own abilities.
3. Emre Can can’t…against Palace.
Emre Can made a hash of clearing Zaha’s low cross and Bolasie, who has so often been a thorn in Liverpool’s side in recent years, reacted quickly to beat Simon Mignolet with an unstoppable strike from 10 yards.
The versatile German had so far impressed under Klopp and has seamlessly adapted to Klopp’s tactics in the heart of midfield. However, against Palace, Can looked lost and it was his defensive blunder than gave Palace the lead. He made just one tackle while failed to intercept a single ball. On top of that, he made three defensive errors throughout the course of the match. He was eventually substituted for Roberto Firmino, a move that didn’t pay off for Klopp as it was Palace who took the lead.
4. Liverpool’s lack of clinicality cost them
Why Liverpool fans haven’t gone under total meltdown after this loss is because the Reds actually did play well. It was the lack of clinical finishing that cost them. Cristian Benteke had enough chances to bury the game in his side’s favor. Adam Lallana, Jordon Ibe and Dejan Lovren also came close to giving the Reds the lead.
Liverpool have to work on killing games because despite dominating after the opening minutes, they couldn’t get the three points because they weren’t good enough in the final third. Klopp, like Liverpool fans, must be waiting keenly for Daniel Sturridge to return. Despite Benteke doing decently since his big money move, Sturridge remains the best and most clinical striker Liverpool possess.