Liverpool boast the best record against top six clubs this season
But defeat to lowly Bournemouth after a 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United highlighted Liverpool’s inconsistency this campaign.
Liverpool return to Premier League action this weekend with one of the most daunting fixtures in European football.
Jurgen Klopp’s men will travel to Manchester City on Saturday on the back of a defeat to 19th-placed Bournemouth in their last outing. On the basis of league position alone this inconsistent Liverpool side should have little chance of a win at the Etihad Stadium, but there is evidence to suggest that the Reds up their performances against the better sides.
Klopp’s side actually boast the best head-to-head record in matches between the current top six. Liverpool have picked up 15 points from seven games, recording five wins and two defeats.
This is a better return than any of Manchester City (13 points), Arsenal (13 points), Manchester United (13 points), Newcastle (6 points) or Tottenham Hotspurs (3 points) have managed.
Klopp was asked about this impressive record during Friday’s press conference ahead of the trip to the Etihad and replied:
“Oh, cool! The main reason is we didn’t play good enough against others. When things are going well, you finish your situations. In general, if you don’t score, you have to try harder.”
Liverpool struggle to perform against weaker sides
After picking up two trophies last season, and getting agonisingly close to another two, Liverpool were expected to be competing for the Premier League again this campaign. However some key injuries and inconsistency have prevented a title charge from building momentum.
Liverpool’s performances this season were encapsulated by their last two league outings before the international break. Before that drab defeat against relegation-threatened Bournemouth, the Reds had put in one of the most impressive showing of the season to despatch in-form Manchester United 7-0.
The contrast between not only the results but also the performances suggests that this current iteration of Liverpool is susceptible to lapses in concentration.
“When we are in the game, we are strong,” Klopp said on Friday. “But we have to make sure we are in the game. We have to deal with setbacks better. It’s something we have to work on.”
“There are a lot of explanations for defeats. Forest and Bournemouth very different but both games we should have won. In the past when we struggled, we struggled with possession vs these sides. We improved but didn’t finish and reacted badly.”