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The Stat Which Starkly Illustrates Liverpool's Biggest Problem

The Stat Which Starkly Illustrates Liverpool's Biggest Problem
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Jamie Carragher's face told a story after Bournemouth's improbable 4-3 win against Liverpool. With fourteen minutes left, Liverpool led 3-1, and seemingly heading back to second in the league, a point behind Chelsea, they contrived to let in four goals in the last thirteen minutes.

Sky came back to a brooding Carragher in studio, having at through another defensive shambles by Liverpool. Given the fact that few players in Liverpool's history exhibited disgust at the concession of goals like Carragher, it seems a peculiar form of torture on Sky's part to have Carragher analyse the continued crumbling of the edifice he spent over a decade building.

For he's been here before: Carragher was in the Monday Night Football studio when Liverpool conceded three goals in the final fourteen minutes to Crystal Palace in 2014; the porous rock upon which the last title challenge perished. That night, Carragher delivered a masterclass in analysis rich in anguish and incision: his take-down of Mamadou Sakho as passionate as a TV pundit has been since pens were being chucked around Montrose.

Today, he again lamented Liverpool's bottle.

It's a message to the rest of the Premier League that if you put Liverpool under pressure, they can't cope with it.

He highlighted Liverpool's habit of conceding goals in gluts: one goal quickly becomes two, three and sometimes four. He flagged a stat from last season: Liverpool conceded more than two goals in seven games last term.

Simon Mignolet kept 11 clean sheets last season - the sixth-best in the league - yet conceded fifty goals. Only three sides in the top ten conceded more.

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While Liverpool are much better this season, those frailties have not been eroded, and questions remain whether Liverpool have the resilience to see out games when the momentum shifts. For when things go wrong for Liverpool in games, they appear to be unable to arrest that change. In essence, while Klopp has improved much about Liverpool this season, they still manage to totally lose their heads during games.

This stat from Dan Kennett points to exactly that.

To their credit, Liverpool turned that first-half against Swansea around and ended up eeking out a 2-1 win, but today was decidedly less impressive.

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The addition of Joel Matip has made a difference - he exudes calm and makes Dejan Lovren a lot more comfortable. Liverpool have yet to lose with Matip in the side, and their two defeats this campaign have come in his absence.

Liverpool have made great strides this season, and up until today, were third-favourites to win the league. Their capacity to self-destruct, however, has not gone away, and it's not exactly the stuff of champions.

See Also: 'Garbage From Him' - Gary Neville Lost The Plot With Fellaini On Commentary With Sky

See Also: Jamie Carragher's Strong Words For Loris Karius On Sky After Liverpool's Defeat To Bournemouth

 

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