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How Liverpool's defense has drastically improved the past few months

Yasho Amonkar
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
652   //    06 Oct 2018, 18:23 IST

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League
Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League

When you think of Jurgen Klopp's 3-year stint at Liverpool, the first thing that comes to mind is the attacking prowess of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Over the last decade, Liverpool have had major issues with their defense though. Even last season, Klopp's Liverpool conceded 38 goals, which is a goal per match and around 10 goals more than what the Manchester clubs conceded last season.

Liverpool had shipped 32 goals in the first 28 games last season. This is before Virgil van Dijk made his Premier League debut for the Reds. The Dutchman has been instrumental in changing Liverpool's fortunes in defense. The fact that they conceded only 6 goals in the last 10 games with the 6'4" centre back leading the backline just goes to show what a difference he has made to the team.

Klopp splashed the cash this summer to sign Brazilian #1 Alisson Becker to solve their goalkeeping issues. He has kept 4 clean sheets this season which is joint highest in the league along with fellow Brazilian Ederson. Although he hasn't shown his true potential yet, he is a huge upgrade over the likes of Karius and Mignolet.

The last 2 defenders which make up Liverpool's backline are English youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez. Trent had an amazing campaign last season which finished with a Champions League runners-up medal for the 19-year-old. Gomez, on the other hand, has made the centre-back position his own after some solid displays alongside van Dijk.

This season, Liverpool have only conceded 3 goals in 7 matches. Two of these goals were spectacular strikes by Erik Lamela and Eden Hazard and the other goal was a result of Alisson wanting to show off some of his footwork which led to an easy tap-in for Leicester. At Anfield, Liverpool haven't conceded a goal this season.

Liverpool have been regularly conceding 40-50 goals each season in the last decade. Even when they finished 2nd under Brendan Rodgers in the 2013-14 season, they let in 50 goals. Assuming Liverpool concede 3 goals every 7 matches for the rest of the season, they will end up conceding only 17 goals this season, less than half of what they conceded last season. This just goes to show how much their defense has improved over the last 10 months.

The diversity in the defense is seen clearly as van Dijk and Alisson were record signings for a defender and goalkeeper respectively. Meanwhile, Robertson, Trent and Gomez cost only a combined £11.5 million. Klopp's teams have always been known for their gegenpressing style and quick counter-attacks. But with a solid defense, could this be the season Liverpool finally win the Premier League?

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Yasho Amonkar
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