The media were puzzled and worried by Liverpool’s terrible performance in the match against Brentford with a score of 3:1.
On Monday evening, the Reds in west London looked gloomy, deservedly defeated and again giving the opponent goals.
After four consecutive wins in the Premier League, Liverpool returned to reality, and they had to do a huge amount of work to get into the top four.
Here’s how the media reacted to the defeat of the Reds, on a day that I want to forget as soon as possible.
Some bemoaned the desperately poor job…
Goal’s Neil Jones believes it was another dismal Liverpool midfield exit:
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool cannot “play Monopoly” in January, but they certainly cannot afford to ignore the midfield issues that are undermining their Champions League bid.
“Standard positions and canopies may have ruined them in the first half, but their problems were related to the middle of the field, their inability to close the space and, as a result, control the game.
“Jordan Henderson didn’t fight well against Leicester on Friday, but you can’t blame him here.
“Instead, Harvey Elliot was working to the right of the midfield three, the youngster was overtaking and could not offer enough of the ball to compensate for his passivity without him.
“Klopp has sought to reinvent the 19-year-old as a midfielder, but the experiment has not yet yielded results. Liverpool need recognized talents, and they need them quickly.
“Whether it’s Mateus Nunez, the last player linked with a move to Anfield, or someone else, something has to happen in January. If this does not happen, the Reds can say goodbye to the top four.”
Jamie Braidwood of The Independent was scathing about the performance of the Reds:
“Back in August, it seemed incredible that Brentford beat Manchester United 4-0, but here, against Liverpool, they were close to it.
“They had the ball in the net four times, at least in the first half, as Liverpool lost their heads and suffered a defeat that is as devastating as it is shameful.
“Perhaps the harshest truth Jurgen Klopp has to face is that his team looked like a version of Manchester United, which Merseyside liked to mock in recent years: weak defense, lack of leadership on the pitch and a real struggle to get into the top four.
“It was a display that reflected the vulnerability and fragility of defending some of their worst displays in Klopp’s early days.”
Kieran King from the Mirror was critical of Liverpool’s failures in defending from corners:
“Every time Brentford gave a corner, it seemed like he was scoring.
The Bees are strong from standard positions, but Jurgen Klopp’s men have made it easier for them. Ben Mee, Ethan Pinnock and Mathias Jorgensen are the biggest threat to Brentford and intimidate the Reds in the air when given the opportunity.
Liverpool were warned several times about the threat posed by Brentford, and were punished in the 19th minute when the Bees scored Konate’s own goal.
“It was too easy from Liverpool’s point of view.
In an article for Sporting News, David Lynch was not impressed by Jurgen Klopp’s performance:
“The fact that Liverpool managed to reach the break, and not just concede a single goal, depends more on luck and VAR than on the fact that their high line really did its job.
“And it makes one wonder why Klopp didn’t make his changes earlier, given that it was obvious to everyone present that the hosts had all the momentum and were going to double their advantage.
“The German’s substitutions at half-time actually allowed his team to regain some momentum, but because of his indecision in the first half it was too late.”
Nick Ames of the Guardian described it as a big “reality check” for Klopp’s team:
“It was a serious reality check for everyone who thought that Liverpool, having dusted themselves off over the winter holidays, would return to the top four.
“They lost here to a bright and determined Brentford, and also because of the erratic work of their own defensive line, which ultimately brought the game to naught.
“Ibrahima Konate’s own goal embodies this, and before the break it was followed by a header by Yoane Vissa, who has already scored twice.”
What about Liverpool’s top four chances now?
Mark Delgado from This Is Anfield assessed the situation, trying to stay positive:
“After two consecutive victories after the World Cup, the Reds significantly reduced the gap from Spurs, who were fourth. They only scored one point in the same period, but that draw was away to Brentford, where we just lost.
“They were also reworked by Manchester United, from which the Reds were four behind before this game, equaling the matches played.
“Since now we are clearly fighting only to get into the top four, it is important to remember about the past years in this pursuit: individual games do not necessarily matter, but their clusters may matter.
“In other words, will you be able to close the gap in games of three and four games? Or open one when ahead of the team?
“We did it with Spurs during this period, but we will have to do the same again after the break in the FA Cup — and European action awaits us again soon.”
Jones painfully admitted that Liverpool played into the hands of Manchester United:
Tottenham falter, Chelsea struggle, and Liverpool remain inconsistent.
“And with all this, Manchester United is in the box to ensure a top-four finish, and with it a return to the Champions League.
“Eric ten Hag’s men can break away from Liverpool by seven points by beating Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
“Given the way Klopp’s team is playing, it will be a significant deficit.”
Finally, Lynch ended on an optimistic note, despite the result:
“This is not the first time this season that Liverpool looks like a team with no chance of getting into the top 4.
“The fact that Klopp’s players have recently approached these positions speaks to the shortcomings of their rivals and gives hope that, given that there is so much of the campaign left, an exit to the Champions League is not ruled out.
“However, huge improvements are needed.”