Liverpool lost further ground on league leaders Chelsea after a disappointing draw against West Ham United
The Reds would have gone into the game expecting to win given West Ham’s recent struggles, but some poor defensive errors from Karius and Matip allowed West Ham to snatch a point at Anfield.
A free-kick from Dmitri Payet and an opportunistic goal from Michail Antonio provided Slaven Bilic with some much-needed positivity, but Liverpool will be ruing their mistakes.
Klopp’s men were impressive in attack, but could not manage to eke out a victory and are now 6 points behind league leaders Chelsea.
Karius at fault again
Loris Karius was at fault once again for both of Liverpool’s goals. Karius seemed to almost invite Dmitri Payet to shot for the bottom left corner after getting his positioning for the free-kick completely wrong. Payet’s free-kick, which was well taken but was not the most precise of free-kicks the Frenchman is capable of, would have been saved by a better keeper or at least by a better positioned keeper, but Karius got it all wrong.
For the second goal, it was Matip’s miscalculation of the flight of the ball that allowed Michail Antonio in on goal, but Karius once again hesitated when coming off his line and Antonio was able to sneak the ball past the German. It is clear that Liverpool have still not solved their goalkeeping issues.
Karius has been in the news recently following his poor performance against Bournemouth, and has been involved in a war of words with Gary Neville. He has only added pressure on himself with his response to Neville’s punditry, and last night’s performance will not do him any favours.
Divock Origi was impressive once again
Origi managed to pick up another goal for Liverpool, making it 4 goals in 4 straight games. The Belgian worked tirelessly and was a constant thorn in West Ham’s side. Philippe Coutinho’s injury provided lots of fears for Liverpool fans, but Origi has stepped up to the plate after coming into the side.
The youngster has shown that Coutinho’s injury is not as much of a disruption as first thought, as Liverpool’s attacking play has been equally smooth with Origi starting as a striker. Origi is going from strength to strength under Jurgen Klopp, and if these performances continue he is going to give Klopp a big headache when the entire team is fit.
Lallana must stay fit
Adam Lallana has been one of Liverpool’s best performers this season when fit, and was on hand to score once again last night. The midfielder showed good technique to neatly finish inside the box, and his silky skills are a big advantage when Liverpool are looking to attack.
If Liverpool want to challenge for the title, they need their best players to stay fit and Adam Lallana is definitely one of those. The midfielder has already missed 5 games through two separate injuries this season, and Klopp will be hoping that the Englishman is over his injury problems and is able to make a consistent run in the side.
Liverpool must find defensive stability
Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp admitted that his side’s attacking intent often left his team exposed at the back. Liverpool are brilliant to watch when on song, but unless they quickly find a way to balance the number of players who remain in defence more often, they could be left to rue their style of play come the end of the season.
That Liverpool have only managed to keep 3 clean sheets in the League this season is telling. It is often only the central defenders who are left in Liverpool’s half when the Reds’ pour forward, and teams will quickly start to notice that they are susceptible to the counter. The Reds have found it hard to protect their lead this season, and if they want to be fighting for the title until the end Klopp must address this as soon as possible.
Mane is going to be a huge miss
Sadio Mane was impressive once again for Liverpool last night. The midfielder picked up 2 assists and his trickery and direct running caused nightmares for West Ham. Mane is one of Liverpool’s most exciting players, and his aggressive attacking play causes chaos in defence.
The Senegalese footballer will go to the African Cup of Nations in January – unlike Matip, who confirmed he turned down a call-up – and will be sorely missed when he departs. The return of Philippe Coutinho will be a boost for Klopp’s men, but Liverpool do not have another player in the side who threatens defences the way Mane does.