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A look into Liverpool’s surprising recent struggles

The Reds have lost three of their last four games.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) could still smile when speaking to referee Chris Kavanagh after the FA Cup loss at Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) could still smile when speaking to referee Chris Kavanagh after the FA Cup loss at Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) could still smile when speaking to referee Chris Kavanagh after the FA Cup loss at Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

A fortnight ago runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool had lost just twice<br></br>in 41 matches in all competitions this season.

Two weeks on and Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have suffered three defeats in their last four games following Tuesday’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how Liverpool have surprisingly struggled in recent performances.

Atletico Madrid 1 Liverpool 0 – Champions League (February 18)

Saul Niguez scored the only goal as Champions League holders Liverpool suffered a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid on their return to the Wanda Metropolitano, scene of their final triumph over Tottenham last June.
Niguez fired home after just four minutes and Liverpool failed to muster a single shot on target, as well as losing captain Jordan Henderson to a hamstring injury.

Liverpool 3 West Ham 2 – Premier League (February 24)

Sadio Mane
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane scored his side’s winner against West Ham (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool ultimately moved to within four wins of a first title in 30 years, but had to come from behind against struggling West Ham. A 21st successive league victory at Anfield matched the Reds’ own top-flight record from 1972, while an 18th consecutive win drew them level with Manchester City’s Premier League landmark set in 2017. The home side led through Georginio Wijnaldum’s early header but trailed 2-1 after goals from Issa Diop and Pablo Fornals and needed a blunder from Hammers’ goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to allow Mohamed Salah to equalise before Sadio Mane grabbed the winner.

Watford 3 Liverpool 0 – Premier League (February 29)

Liverpool’s unbeaten Premier League season came to a grinding halt as they were deservedly thrashed by struggling Watford at Vicarage Road. Jurgen Klopp’s side were on a 44-game unbeaten run and the champions-elect were
aiming to match Manchester City’s run of 19 consecutive wins – only to be on the wrong end of a 3-0 humbling. Ismaila Sarr stole the show with two goals in six minutes before he laid on the third for captain Troy Deeney, who bullied a Liverpool defence missing Joe Gomez through an injury precaution.

Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0 – FA Cup (March 3)

Adrian
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian appears dejected after failing to stop Chelsea’s Ross Barkley (not in frame) from scoring his sides second goal during the FA Cup fifth round match at Stamford Bridge (Mike Egerton/PA)

Goals from Willian and Ross Barkley sent Chelsea into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup as Liverpool suffered their third defeat in four games at Stamford Bridge. Seconds after making a brilliant save to deny Willian, Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian somehow fumbled a 14th-minute shot from the same player over the line. Opposite number Kepa Arrizabalaga pulled off a stunning triple save at the other end and Barkley doubled Chelsea’s lead in the 64th minute after running clear from inside his own half before smashing home a right-foot shot.

PA