When the final whistle blew at the end of their miserable 1-0 defeat to relegation battlers Fulham at Anfield on Sunday, it marked Liverpool’s sixth consecutive home defeat. Since Jürgen Klopp arrived on Merseyside, Liverpool have broken a number of club records. But the defeat to the Cottagers saw them extend an unwanted club record: the worst run of home form in the club’s history.
Liverpool’s latest defeat leaves them in 8th place in the Premier League, seven points off the Champions League places, and in genuine danger of missing out on qualifying for European football completely, though a review of sports gambling guides would suggest they are still in with a chance.
But beyond qualifying for Europe the most worrying aspect for Klopp and the club’s supporters is that on Sunday they looked fragile and devoid of ideas while facing lowly Fulham – with all due respect to the Cottagers – and so they must be wondering what they need to do to break this horrific run of form.
And this gives rise to the big question: what now for Liverpool?
Next up for them is a Champions League fixture at home to German title contenders RB Leipzig. While Liverpool lead 3-2 from the first leg, Julian Nagelsmann and his team won’t fear a trip to Anfield given their host’s current form. And then they face two consecutive away games in the Premier League – to Wolves and Arsenal – the outcome of which, if the results aren’t positive, could see them stranded in mid-table. These are fixtures that you’d expect a Liverpool side to win, but right now, anything could happen.
Right now, Klopp will be pinning his hopes on the Champions League. Although it’s not a given that they will overcome RB Leipzig, they hold the advantage, and this poor run of form at Anfield has to end sooner or later. Victory would put them in the last eight, and though there are some very good sides left in the competition, it would be a huge boost to the club to get there, and could provide the lift that they need. But even if Liverpool were to make progress in the Champions League, there will still need to be a serious post-mortem once the season is over.
While this isn’t quite the worst title defence ever as some have said, and there are mitigating circumstances, it is fair to say the campaign has been a disaster for Liverpool. Their squad clearly does not have the strength or depth to withstand injuries, while at times, Klopp has found to be wanting in terms of his ability to change things from a tactical perspective.
Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, there is a big summer ahead for Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool.