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Jurgen Klopp's Post-Match Comments Show How Lost Liverpool Are

Jurgen Klopp's Post-Match Comments Show How Lost Liverpool Are
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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In late February 2022, Liverpool were midway through what would ultimately become a ten-game winning run in the Premier League, through to the fifth round of the FA Cup (a competition they eventually won), preparing for the EFL Cup final against Chelsea (another competition they eventually won), and were 2-0 up after their Champions League last 16 first leg against Italian champions Inter.

Fast forward to late February 2023 and the picture is astonishingly different for Jurgen Klopp's side. They sit in a distant eighth place in the Premier League, 19 points off leaders Arsenal. They are already out of both domestic cups and, after an astonishning game on Tuesday night, it looks as though the Champions League is gone as well.

Last year, Liverpool were desperately unlucky to lose the Champions League final, mainly thanks to some persistent brilliance from Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Even a Courtois clanger on Tuesday to put Liverpool 2-0 up inside 15 minutes against last year's winners could not help Klopp and his men to victory. In fact, they crumbled to a 5-2 defeat on home soil, in a manner that most cannot remember ever happening at Anfield.


This side were a slice of luck or two away from winning an unprecedented quadruple last season. And, of course, in football you make your own luck. But the quality of the team cannot be denied, and it is almost unfathomable how quickly Liverpool have seemingly dropped off a cliff in terms of performance.

After the game on Tuesday night, Jurgen Klopp's comments to the media spoke volumes to just how changed the atmosphere is at Anfield this season, and how lost Liverpool truly are.

Liverpool look more lost than ever under Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp's "mentality monsters" at Liverpool have defied many's expectations over the past few years with their ability to keep up with the megamillion-spending Manchester City, despite their comparatively small transfer budget. Much of this has been put down to their refusal to give up and, as mentioned above, Klopp's elite work on player mentality, drive, and desire.


His post-match comments on Tuesday showed how much this famed positivity has been eroded this season at Liverpool. When asked about Real boss Carlo Ancelotti claiming the tie was not over, Klopp candidly said:

I think Carlo thinks the tie is over - and I think it as well in the moment, but in three weeks... it's how it is in these moments, the closer you get to the game the bigger our chances become and the less likely it is the tie is over.

Tonight, with the 5-2 and you see the game, they are pretty good in counter-attacking and we have to score three goals there and take some risk, so that could be a bit tricky. It is really not even in my mind.

We go there, I can say it now already, and try to win the game. If that is possible or not, I don't know now but that's what we will try and from there we will see.

Of course, Klopp hasn't necessarily said that the tie is fully over, but his completely despondent tone was something we've not seen much during his seven-year reign in Liverpool. Could you imagine the Klopp of May 2019 saying this after Barcelona took a 3-0 lead against Liverpool in the semi-final first leg?

Who is to say he's wrong? Liverpool have pulled off this kind of comeback before, in the aforementioned Barcelona tie of 2019 and, famously, in Istanbul in the 2005 Champions League final. They have made a reputation for their never-say-die attitude, but this Real Madrid tie would arguably completely surpass the feats both of Anfield '19 and Istanbul '05. Going to the Bernabeu three goals down and turning it around? Saying it out loud sounds preposterous.


But that is what this Liverpool team have made their name on. Fighting back, never saying die. Their energy on the pitch was a visual representation of this. Klopp's game surpasses the infamous "Gegenpressen" - it is entirely its own beast, demanding of 150% energy from every player in making the pitch as inhospitable as possible for the opposition.

Perhaps the best example of this is that the centrepiece of Klopp's time in charge of Liverpool may always be that 4-0 win over Barcelona in 2019. There have certainly been games under his reign in which they have played better - the 3-1 home win over Manchester City the following season comes to mind - but that game defined what Klopp's Liverpool have been all about.

It is always to be expected that even the best players will have "off" periods, or dips in form. It happened to many of Klopp's stars over the past few years, and the team were able to surpass these issues. What is far more concerning is that the spirit that has defined this Liverpool team, and the nights like that Barcelona clash, appears to have been completely eroded.


The players look fatigued. The defence were shambolic on Tuesday night, with even the usually superb Virgil van Dijk at sea against a dynamic Real Madrid attack. Alan Shearer was among those who pointed out how harsh it was to drop Stefan Bajcetic in at the deep end, but he could have thrived if his more experienced midfield partners were not all over the place.

Once Real Madrid grabbed control of Tuesday's game, there was no element of calm or energy from Liverpool. Real Madrid dominated both the sweeping counter-attacking portions of the game, as well as the slower, more methodical set-piece scenarios. Liverpool looked erratic, tired, and lost.

That is what will concern Klopp so much. Never before has a Jurgen Klopp Liverpool side collapsed in a manner even approaching Tuesday's disaster. Their worst losses thus far have come from slow starts, or bad luck, or a combination of the two.

This game saw Liverpool 2-0 up, on a rocking European night at Anfield, where the crowd were particularly fired up. If they could collapse in perhaps the worst manner yet of the Klopp era in such a circumstance, what would make him or any fan believe they have the ability to turn this around in three weeks time?

If this is the end for this Jurgen Klopp team at Liverpool, it will be tough to come to terms that it ended with so little silverware. One Premier League title, one Champions League title, and one of each domestic cup, is not what this team deserved.

And yes, there will be those who criticise this team for not having won more, or point to the fact that they were beaten fair and square to several of those titles. But they were little more than inches away from major honours on more than one occasion over the past five years and beyond.

This season's collapse should not define Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool - and it will not, with time. After all, there is no suggestion yet from him or the Liverpool board that the German coach is anywhere near finished at the club. But, for the core of this first great Klopp team, Tuesday may well have spelt the end.

Liverpool look completely exhausted and lacking in what has made them such a special team over the past five years. It will perhaps be Klopp's greatest ever test to see if he can rebuild what his team have lost.

SEE ALSO: Watford's Ken Sema Has Inspired Many With Courageous Post-Match Interview


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