04 February 2017

Liverpool 0-2 Hull City

Goals:
N'Diaye 44'
Niasse 84'

This sort of nonsense was supposed to end when January ended. I guess it's fitting that Groundhog's Day was two days ago. "Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cold outside."

It is the same thing over and over and over and over and over.

Liverpool have all the possession, but struggle to get any good chances, or really any shots at all, as the opposition sits incredibly deep and clogs the middle. Liverpool eventually do something stupid on a set play; this time, Mignolet fails to claim the second ball and N'Diaye has a tap-in. Then we get more 'Liverpool have all the possession but struggle to etc etc etc.' Then Liverpool concede on a late counter-attack when pressing forward without regard for anything else having thrown on literally all of the attackers.

Mané, Firmino, Coutinho, and Lallana all back in attack was supposed to solve everything. It ain't gonna to be that easy. Not with the road map every side since Sunderland has given Liverpool's opponents, and every subsequent opponent's pretty much stuck to. Mané did help, but Firmino was quiet and Coutinho and Lallana were actively bad, especially the former, who's looked a transparent shadow of himself since returning from injury. Meanwhile, the Hull XI has five players signed in the January window, including two of the back four and including both goal-scorers, and look a vastly more cohesive side.

There's no point doing a blow-by-blow. You've seen this match before.

22 Liverpool shots, but half of them blocked and only five on-target. All five on-target coming after Hull opened the scoring. Hull only had seven shots in total, but I suspect we'll see fairly similar expected goals total for each side. 45 Liverpool crosses, with only two directly leading to a shot: a Matip free header wide and Mané's header saved in the 56th. 15 Liverpool corners, with only one directly leading to a shot: that aforementioned Matip effort.

Meanwhile, Hull had one corner in the entire match. And scored the decisive goal.

The attack's static; the movement and interplay which led to the most Liverpool league goals scored after 19 games is just not happening. The attack's easily bogged down, closed down, and closed off. And Liverpool seemingly have no recourse besides crosses and set plays, and they ain't very good at either.

If Liverpool stop conceding stupid set play goals and keep it at 0-0 through halftime, maybe Liverpool finally blow the door down. Hull hadn't offered much else to that point, and Liverpool's defensive mistakes certainly do not help matters. But Liverpool's defense remains Liverpool's defense; it's been this way pretty much all season, especially away to bottom-half sides. Liverpool's attack is what's fallen off a cliff. Liverpool's attack is why Liverpool are getting the results they've gotten in 2017.

2017 has now seen five games without a win in the Premier League. Three draws – against Sunderland, United, and Chelsea – and two losses, against then-20th Swansea and until-today-19th Hull. Six Liverpool goals scored in total (only three from open play), with eight conceded. Liverpool nearly scored six in one match the last time these sides met.

Also, Liverpool haven't gone five games without a league win since Brendan Rodgers' first five league games in 2012-13.

So, sure, Hull have been a bogey side for a few seasons now, especially when at Hull. So, sure, Hull have been very good at home since Marco Silva became manager.

Liverpool are still responsible for these failings, today and for the last month.

We're only a couple of games away from this season being completely gone. Arsenal, City, United, and (to a lesser extent) Tottenham's commitment to similar banter is the only reason Liverpool haven't yet fallen out of the top four, at least until tomorrow.

We are nowhere near KLOPP OUT – anyone who goes this route is utterly bananas – but this rot simply has to stop. You've got time on the training ground. You've got almost everyone available.

Fix this. Now.

1 comment :

Gabe said...

Fix this. Now.

This.

The defense has to be better. Players and coaching.