Critics who say Liverpool’s defence of the title is the worst in the Premier League era have short memories.
Remember Chelsea’s meltdown under Jose Mourinho in 2015-16, when he was sacked before Christmas and they finished 10th after winning just 32 percent of their games?
Remember Leicester’s 5,000-1 miracle workers selling N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater with manager Claudio Ranieri also not surviving the 2016-17 season? They finished 12th, also with a 32 percent win ratio.
Liverpool, eighth after winning 43 percent of their games, have suffered the biggest fall in win percentage of any champions in the past decade.
But they had raised the bar so high that it was almost impossible to sustain the form which brought them 197 points in two seasons.
After reaching the Champions League final in 2018, winning it 12 months later and then landing the Kop’s first title in 30 years, Jurgen Klopp was always likely to need a reboot.
Especially when he has had to use 18 different centre-back pairings this season.
Especially when he’s been forced to use dynamic midfielders as emergency central defenders.
Especially as his front three has only fired on all cylinders sporadically.
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After almost two years of going unbeaten at Anfield in the League, to lose six at home on the bounce – including defeats by Burnley, Brighton and Fulham – is astonishing by any yardstick.
But Liverpool could still win the Champions League again after an assured display over two legs against RB Leipzig.
How would that sit with a “poor” defence of the title?