What Went Wrong With Liverpool’s Title Defense This Season

The reigning champions are having one of their worst seasons off the back of a title win

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Asher Franklyn

There are only ten games left to play this season and reigning champions Liverpool find themselves almost thirty points adrift from league leaders Manchester City. But how did all this happen? After all, they were firmly in the hunt only seven matches ago.

The problems all started on the seventeenth of October last year when they faced Merseyside rivals Everton away. After taking an early lead, a crucial moment that would dent Liverpool's title hopes occurred: their star defender Virgil Van Dijk was fouled by Everton's goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford.

A few minutes after he had hobbled off the field, the commentators had grim news for all Liverpool fans -- Van Dijk would be out for many weeks. However, worse was to come, for after another checkup it was confirmed that he would be out for months. Liverpool Boss Jürgen Klopp has even stated that it would be a miracle for him to return to the side by the end of the season.

However, Liverpool played on and managed to keep going and just when it looked like it was going to be a classic Manchester United versus Liverpool title fight, everything started to go wrong for Liverpool. First of all, the team, which has been in the title fight in each of the last three seasons, picked up form and within a few weeks were at the top with Liverpool and United.

It was at this point of time that a blockbuster match was scheduled between Manchester City and Liverpool where City were awarded a first half penalty which Ilkay Gündogan smashed high. After a goalless first half, Gündogan, the man who missed the penalty redeemed himself by giving City the lead.

But the celebrations were cut short as Liverpool received a penalty which Salah tucked away to give them a lead. Soon after that, a major confidence blow hit Liverpool's goalkeeper Allison after he made a costly error which gifted City the lead. He was to repeat this mistake a few minutes later which infuriated his boss, Jürgen Klopp. City would soon wrap up the game with an absolute belter from Phil Foden.

Liverpool's next game against Leicester started well with a fantastic goal from Salah, but after Leicester equalized, Allison made another mistake to gift his opponents a win. Further defeats to Everton and Chelsea in past three weeks have destroyed their chances as a loss or draw against Wolves tonight will put them mathematically out of title contention.

So now with domestic success out of the question after Arsenal eliminated them from the cup, Liverpool could try and focus solely on the Champions League, but they can not just forget about the Premier League as they will have to finish in the top five if they want a chance of any competitive football outside England.

Asher Franklyn is a guest contributor to the Tannoy.

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