Liverpool’s astonishing loss to Bournemouth yesterday was a stark reminder to Reds fans dreaming of the title that this is still a flawed side.
The Reds were 3-1 up at one point, but still capitulated late on to lose 4-3. The leaky defence that has plagued them for years crumbled in the final moments as the Cherries got bodies in the box, and they left ruing their lack of control in a game they put themselves in the perfect position to win.
Joel Matip’s absence was a huge blow to Jurgen Klopp’s team, and so many of Bournemouth’s chances came from indecisive defending that allowed balls to bounce in the box. Matip has made himself Liverpool’s key man defensively, and they need him back as soon as possible.
Without the Cameroon international present to dominate the penalty area, Liverpool were dominated in the air and their goalkeeper Loris Karius was exposed. Karius looks another weak point in Klopp’s defensive setup. After suffering with Simon Mignolet for several years, Reds fans will be wondering how they have managed to finally replace him with someone who appears to be no better.
These issues – a lack of quality at centre back and goalkeeper – are the reasons Liverpool have not been able to challenge for the title for some time, and until they are solved, the Reds’ title struggles will go on.