Liverpool’s defeated body language at the final whistle and the resignation in manager Jurgen Klopp’s post match interviews sounded like a club that know that their title defence is over. Liverpool have climbed mountains under Klopp before but they now stand 10 points behind a team which has reeled off 14 successive wins in all competitions. They have also played one game more than City.
Last season, Liverpool caught lightening in a bootle. They were brilliant throughout the season, picking up an almost perfect 67 points from their first 23 games last season.
This season, Liverpool have won only 11 of their 23 games this season, and are a massive 27 points worse off this season than they were last year.
Yes, Liverpool have suffered a lot of injuries this season, but they don’t account for 27 less points.
For years we have heard about that Liverpool, with the Kop is the best home field advantage in world football. That on those big European nights, that the Kop can will Liverpool to victory.
Maybe the Kop is not just for big European nights? After a run of 68 league games unbeaten at home, Liverpool have now lost three consecutive league games at Anfield, with no fans present.
There is a lot of talk about whether this is an end of the cycle at Liverpool and whether they need to rebuild? I think it is much too early for that. This Liverpool side should be at its peak right now, or at worst at the very beginning of the downward slide.
Of the regular starters, only Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are in their thirties and both have turned 30 within the last eight months. If peak age is 26-29, most of the strongest starting XI, including Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, fits into that category.