A home defeat to Brighton so soon after Burnley finished their long, unbeaten run at Anfield on the same goal line was another night to be forgotten at Anfield.
Frustration with the result was compounded by the fact that Jurgen Klopp’s men took on the Seagulls after two very impressive wins in London at Tottenham and then at West Ham.
Games will get tougher for Liverpool in the coming weeks as each of the next three Premier League games will be played against Manchester City, Leicester City and Everton.
Both City and Leicester are currently in the league table above Liverpool, while Everton are just four points behind with two games.
Ironically, there is reason to believe that these tougher fixtures on paper could actually be a boon for Liverpool.
This is because their record against the perceived top teams in the league is far more impressive than against the teams at the bottom of the table, as shown in the H2H record table below.
Against the teams in the current top ten of the Premier League, Liverpool only lost once and averages 2.18 points per game. However, they have only won four of their eleven games against the current bottom ten places in the league and averaged just 1.45 points per game.
It’s hard to explain why, but much of it can be traced back to Liverpool’s recent struggles to break down sites that are in rigid low-block systems.
Of course, teams near the top tend to play a more offensive and expansive game. This, in turn, means that their line of defense is higher on the field, leaving room for the Liverpool attackers.
When you think of the six goals Liverpool scored against both Tottenham and West Ham, most of them came from either a counterattack when the opponent wasn’t in good defensive form or when their defensive line was a little higher on the field.
However, the teams at the foot of the table tend to approach the encounters against superior teams, with defense taking precedence over attacking ambitions.
This means that more men are seated deeply and on the edge of their own box in an organized manner.
Klopp’s men had a near-perfect record against the last ten last season, so they have shown that they can overcome this obstacle. You’ll have to work on rediscovering the formula to do so in the second half of the season.
In the immediate vicinity, however, those daunting encounters on the horizon could actually prove to be a boon for the Reds.