Liverpool must remain mentally strong to end title drought
Liverpool put in a tepid display in their Premier League clash against Manchester United as the two sides played out a goalless draw at Anfield. The match was built up throughout the international break and during the week before the encounter due to its prime billing on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
However, the Reds were unable to lift themselves for the occasion as Jose Mourinho employed a defensive strategy against the Merseysiders to frustrate the team and their supporters. Liverpool could have moved top of the Premier League with a 3-0 victory over the Red Devils, but for all their probing they could not find a way past an inspired David de Gea in the 90 minutes.
Jurgen Klopp’s men could have strengthened their claim for the top-flight crown with the victory, while putting a huge dent in the hopes of United and making a statement to their other rivals at the top of the table. However, they were unable to make a telling blow to put them ahead of the pack in the race for the title, although the best bookmakers still have the Reds as one of the leading contenders to lift the trophy come the end of the season.
Liverpool made a strong start to the campaign to put forward their credentials for the Premier League title in their desperate bid to end their 27-year drought for the crown. Klopp’s side battered Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, sending four goals past the Gunners, who were flattered by the 4-3 scoreline.
For as good as the Reds were against Arsenal, they were terrible in their 2-0 defeat to Burnley in their next outing. Results like these have plagued the club in the Premier League years, and must be eradicated in the future for Liverpool to lift the trophy in May.
The club learned the hard way in the 2013/14 campaign when they narrowly missed out of the title to Manchester City. Everyone remembers the defeat to Chelsea and the collapse against Crystal Palace, but defeats to Southampton at home and Hull City were just as damaging for Brendan Rodgers’ men that season.
Klopp has already had one major setback this season and he cannot afford to make many more as the title race could be as close as the one the Reds went through three years ago.
Dealing with the pressure will also be a crucial factor for the club, and the early signs suggest that occasionally when the spotlight is on and a result is expected of them Klopp’s men have had stage fright. The first half of their clash against United was proof that nerves were present, which was noticed by several pundits across the media.
Liverpool have a lot of young players in their line-up with James Milner boasting the most experience at the age of just 30. A lot of men will have to learn on the job this term about the pressures of the title race as the club would be devastated to endure heartbreak once again in their bid to end the title drought. There’s enough talent in Klopp’s squad to lift the trophy in May, but they have to put it all together on the field both physically and mentally to triumph.