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Every contender is fallible. But no one thought that the champions could look so fallible so suddenly and so fast

Tommy Conlon



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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shows his disappointment. Photo: PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shows his disappointment. Photo: PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shows his disappointment. Photo: PA

Rust never sleeps but it was surely bound to take the night off at Anfield last Thursday and give Liverpool FC a badly needed chance to polish their buttons again.

When Southampton beat them on January 4, it was the third league game in a row they'd failed to win. The manager described their dip in form then as "a rather rusty moment". Their 0-0 with Manchester United last Sunday was their fourth.

So on Thursday, at the fifth time of asking, and against a team lying 17th in the table, they were bound to stop the rot and buy some breathing space with a win and three points. They hadn't been beaten at home in the Premier League since April 2017, a run of 68 games. And Burnley hadn't won at Anfield in 46 years. Nah. Rust was one thing, but even a stuttering engine would be sufficient for this assignment.


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