Tuesday 10 December 2019

John Aldridge: After the high of beating Man City, this was a massive low for Liverpool

Read John Aldridge every week in The Herald

Mohamed Salah reacts after a missed chance last night
Mohamed Salah reacts after a missed chance last night

John Aldridge

LIVERPOOL fluffed their lines in horrible fashion as they were beaten 1-0 at Swansea last night - with their performance at the Liberty Stadium as poor as they have produced all season.

After the euphoria of the 4-3 win against Manchester City in their last match, Jurgen Klopp’s side needed to prove they were up to the task of maintaining those levels of brilliance on a damp evening in Wales.

Against a side intent on defending and clinging on to anything they could get out of this game, it was never going to be easy to break the opposition down and yet I was so disappointed by the level of Liverpool’s performance.

From the moment the match got underway, I could see that they were going to be in trouble and this looked like a team that were believing their own hype after they were hailed as world-beaters by ending City’s unbeaten run.

I have seen it so many times before. A side has a massive result and then have to try and get themselves up for a less glamorous game and everything was wrong about the Liverpool team from the start last night.

They were slow, sluggish even, they passing was poor and the attacking brilliance that has been a hallmark of Liverpool’s season was missing.

Supporters paid good money to watch them in Wales and the millions of fans around the world expect more from a team that have shown they are capable of brilliance, but this was everything we don’t want to see from Klopp’s side.

The best teams perform every week, against all opposition, but Liverpool were so far off their best last night they they didn’t deserve to get anything out of the game and I wasn’t surprised when they conceded a goal just before half time.

We all knew what Swansea’s plan would be. Sit tight, cling on and hope they got something out of a set-piece or a corner.

That is precisely what happened as Liverpool dealt with another ball into the box badly and Alfie Mawson’s scuffed shot found a way past Loris Karius. Klopp (above) needed to get his hairdryer out at half-time and give a few of his players a rocket as that is what may have been needed, but the second half showing wasn’t much better.

You look at the City game and there were four or five players who could have been named man-of-match, but I could not pick out as single Liverpool player and say he played well last night.

They were stuck in second or third gear all night and made life far too easy for Swansea, who did little more than set themselves up with a good shape and ask Liverpool to break them down.

They are totally entitled to play that way as they are at the bottom of the table and need point, but Liverpool have been good enough most of the time this season to get around that kind of negativity.

Well, despite horrible late misses from Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana last night, Liverpool didn’t deserve to get anything out of their trip to Swansea and from the incredible high of the Man City game, that was a massive low.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport