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Liverpool finally find the net, but defensive lapses cost Reds in FA Cup

Liverpool were beaten 3-2 by Manchester United in the FA Cup
Liverpool were beaten 3-2 by Manchester United in the FA Cup
ANALYST
Modified 25 Jan 2021
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Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are currently going through a tough period. After three years of dominating England and Europe, everything seems to be falling apart.

The Reds’ hopes of retaining the Premier League are gradually diminishing, as they sit fourth on the league table and six points behind leaders Manchester United.

Even worse, they’ve now been knocked out of the FA Cup by their bitter rivals. Liverpool went into Sunday’s FA Cup game against Manchester United in limping form. They had struggled to score in recent games, but managed to find the net twice at Old Trafford.

It was, however, not enough as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side ran out 3-2 winners, thanks to goals from Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.

Liverpool’s defensive frailties exposed again

While this was a disappointing defeat in the FA Cup, one of the good takeaways was the fact that Liverpool finally found the net. Before Sunday, the club hadn’t scored in each of their last four Premier League games.

However, the Reds scored twice at Old Trafford – Mohamed Salah getting both. The downside, though, is that Liverpool’s shaky defence was exposed again.

Manchester United’s first and second goals both came as a result of defensive lapses from Klopp’s side. A makeshift center-back pairing of Fabinho and Rhys Williams was just not able to contain Manchester United’s attacking prowess.

Klopp was not impressed with his side’s poor defensive showing and made his frustrations known in his post-match press conference.

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"There was a lot of good things and some mistakes around the goals. If you want to win here you have to be absolutely top and we were not," Klopp said, as quoted by Goal.
"For the first goal we had no protection, we wanted it too much. Things like this should not happen but they can happen. We had too many players in a receiving position. We can take things out of this game, we try to learn from every game."

Pressure mounting on Klopp

Klopp was largely composed during his post-match press conference, but the Liverpool manager has looked a bit edgy in the last few weeks.

He has gone from complaining about referees to bemoaning Manchester United’s penalty record, and also had a row with Sean Dyche during last week’s 1-0 loss against Burnley.

These are signs of a manager under pressure and he desperately needs to turn things around quickly. Unfortunately, Liverpool’s next fixture is a tough one against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur.

A win will restore confidence and allow the Reds to try and start gathering some momentum. However, another defeat would mean the club is inching further towards a crisis, therefore, inviting more pressure on Klopp.

Published 25 Jan 2021, 15:01 IST
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