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5 of Liverpool's most embarrassing defeats

Scott Newman
Modified 06 Oct 2020, 18:19 IST
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#3 Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool – Premier League 2014-15

Stoke destroyed Liverpool 6-1 in Steven Gerrard
Stoke destroyed Liverpool 6-1 in Steven Gerrard's final game for the Reds.

When Brendan Rodgers led Liverpool to within an inch of claiming their first-ever Premier League title in the 2013-14 campaign, hopes were high for the following season despite the Reds’ relatively poor finish.

However, Rodgers was unable to inspire another title challenge. And the final nine matches of the campaign saw Liverpool win just two games, losing five of them. However, the Reds undoubtedly saved the worst till last.

In what would turn out to be the final game in a Liverpool shirt for legendary captain Steven Gerrard, the Reds were absolutely smashed by Stoke City. They came away from the Britannia Stadium with a horrendous 6-1 defeat.

Things started badly from the off, when Stoke forward Mame Biram Diouf scored a brace in a wild four-minute spell, and just minutes after that, Jonathan Walters added a third.

With the Reds’ defence – consisting of Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho – all over the place, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi also found the back of the net, leaving Liverpool trailing 5-0 at half time. It was essentially game over.

The second half saw the Reds stabilise somewhat after Rodgers sent on substitute Kolo Toure. And despite Stoke having more chances at goal, it was Liverpool who scored next. Gerrard was able to finish from close range following a pass from Rickie Lambert.

However, to add salt into the Reds’ wounds, former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch popped up to head in a sixth goal with just minutes remaining.

Rodgers would last just five more months in the job after leading the Reds to their worst defeat since 1963’s 7-2 loss to Spurs.


#4 Tottenham 4-1 Liverpool – Premier League 2017-18

Dejan Lovren struggled as Spurs hit Liverpool for four in 2018.
Dejan Lovren struggled as Spurs hit Liverpool for four in 2018.

When Jurgen Klopp took over the reins at Anfield in October 2015, Liverpool fans hoped that the German would bring back the good times. And sure enough, that was eventually the case, with the Reds winning the Champions League in 2018-19 and then following that with their first Premier League title in 2019-20.


However, there were more than a few bumps in the road along the way, and one such bump happened in October 2017. Liverpool travelled to Wembley to take on Tottenham on the back of a strong run of one defeat in seven games, but that run came to an abrupt end.

Spurs shot out of the blocks and found themselves in a 2-0 lead after just 12 minutes, with Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren to blame for both goals. The Croatian’s performance was so bad that Klopp hooked him in favour of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after just 31 minutes. But even that didn’t help matters.

Despite Mohamed Salah pulling a goal back on 24 minutes, Tottenham continued to dominate the game. And when Dele Alli added a third at the end of the first half, it was only what Mauricio Pochettino’s side deserved.

It was painfully clear that Spurs would score again in the second half, and sure enough, Kane added his second goal after 56 minutes following some poor goalkeeping from Simon Mignolet. In the end, the fact that the game finished just 4-1 was perhaps flattering to Liverpool.

Of course, every cloud has a silver lining, though. After this horror show, the Reds finally agreed to splash out £70m on Virgil van Dijk in the next transfer window. The rest, as they say, is history.


#5 Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool – Premier League 2020-21

Liverpool's defeat at Aston Villa was their heaviest in the Premier League.

The most recent embarrassing result on this list also marked the first time Liverpool had conceded seven goals since 1963. That game saw Spurs thump them 7-2, a result that Dean Smith’s Aston Villa equalled here.

Incredibly though, this game was one that saw the reigning Premier League champions facing a side who’d only escaped relegation on the final day of the previous season.

Fans who watched the game could’ve been forgiven for believing that it was Villa who were reigning champions and Liverpool the strugglers. Smith’s side flew out of the blocks, capitalising on an error from deputy keeper Adrian that allowed Ollie Watkins to score his first Premier League goal.

The Villans doubled their lead on 22 minutes, when Watkins raced through to score his second. But when Mo Salah pulled a goal back, it appeared that Jurgen Klopp’s side would pull off one of their usual comebacks.


Here though, it wasn’t to be. Villa’s front line of Watkins, Jack Grealish, Trezeguet and Ross Barkley exposed Liverpool’s risky high line time after time, and John McGinn added a third before Watkins completed his hat-trick before half-time.

Worse was to come as Barkley added a fifth goal just 10 minutes into the second half. And despite Salah pulling another back, he couldn’t prevent Villa’s attackers from simply bullying Liverpool’s defence – even the usually-imperious Virgil van Dijk.

Eventually, a brace from Grealish handed Villa a 7-2 victory, but in truth, they could well have scored 10 or 11 on another day. Quite how Liverpool bounce back from such an embarrassing loss is a major question mark going forward.  

Published 06 Oct 2020, 18:19 IST
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