Liverpool were boring in their 0-0 draw with Chelsea, the ruthless red car was nowhere to be seen. Jurgen Klopp assessed this as a positive “small step”.
What we are seeing is not the Liverpool team that we know, which lifts you out of your chair and strives to win.
There was a lack of sharpness in the stalemate at Anfield. Liverpool scored only three shots on goal, and all of them were easily deflected by Kepa Arrisabalaga.
This was due to a long overdue dry score in the league — the first since October — but let’s not forget that it was 9th place versus 10th.
The assessment of the match as a “small step” indicates how far Liverpool have fallen this season. The Reds played at Anfield in the middle of the table, not in contenders for the title.
“I thought we started the first half and the second half well, good periods, but we couldn’t continue,” Klopp told BT Sport.
"We have to be ready for little steps, and this is a little step…"
Jürgen Klopp speaks following Liverpool's "hectic" draw with Chelsea.
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“I said before the game that we have to be ready for a small step, and this is a small step.
“We played for zero against Chelsea, and that’s good. We didn’t create too many chances, but we had them.
“In the second half, we defended a little more passionately than clearly organized, because we were too deep.
“As a result, 0:0, for today it suits me, because when I said before the game that we should be ready for these steps, you should also accept it.
“Everyone told me before the game that it was the 9th place against the 10th, such games happen, and this is absolutely normal. We have to rely on things.”
The same assessment was given by James Milner, who admitted that Liverpool were too static and did not create enough opportunities for a pass in the attacking phases.
“I think we started pretty well. There is a lot to work on, but a clean slate is a step in the right direction,” Milner said.
“When you are going through a difficult period and a difficult moment in the team, I think it is important that you stick together, you see the struggle, courage and determination for these clean matches, and this is where it all starts.
“These are not the best football matches we have ever played, but these are small steps to get to where we can be.
“At times we could make it easier for ourselves, maybe touching each other more, but also moving a little more for each other.
“Sometimes there weren’t many options. This is something we can work on.”
The draw means Liverpool will be without a Premier League win in 2023 and their next chance to change that will be in February as they face a trip to Brighton for the FA Cup next week.