Trent Alexander-Arnold curled up on his knees in pure exhaustion as Leicester City’s players followed suit all around him.
But while the home side did so in excitement, the Liverpool defender’s overwhelming emotions were despair and frustration as attempts to regain the Premier League title suffered a damaging, unnecessary blow.
Only time will tell how decisive the red 1-0 defeats at King Power Stadium on Tuesday can be.
Yes, it was just another defeat in 37 games for Jurgen Klopp’s team. Yes, it was a first match since April where they have failed to score.
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But with the very drawn-out matches met with howls of anxiety, suffering such an unnecessary counterplay to an injured Leicester has spawned a discouraged reaction from supporters, indicating how the relentless standards set by Manchester City and, yes, , Liverpool in recent seasons have distorted. what it takes to win the championship.
In fact, Liverpool are seven points better after 19 games than they were last season, but once again they were six points behind the leaders, who last season were Manchester United.
The result and performance at Leicester also brought sharp focus to a number of issues that have been buzzing away for a while.
Despite all the criticism directed at the fumble attack – which has scored exactly 50 goals in 19 league games this season, the same return as City – Liverpool would have picked up at least one point if it were not for those who cashed in Leicester’s only shot. on goal.
Only twice in the last eight games have the Reds kept a clean sheet. More worrying, however, is how detrimental a failure to maintain a shut-out remains to their league hopes.
In the nine top games that Liverpool have closed in this season, they have only won two – at Everton and at home against Newcastle United. Five have been drawn – three at home – with the other two ending in defeat.
Then there is the Reds’ record against the supposed leading teams.
In this season’s matches against teams that finished in the top eight last season – and only Leicester have dropped out at the moment – Liverpool have only taken nine points from seven matches.
Only Foxes and Tottenham Hotspur have taken fewer. That City, on the other hand, have earned 19 from eight such matches underscores why they are now odds favorites to win a fourth title in five years.
In fact, Fred Done from Betfred, who never misses an advertising opportunity, is already paying for City to be champions.
Then there are the unknowns. Both Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho were uncharacteristically disappointing on Tuesday, and it may be a long time before there is any possible link between a drop in physical performance while recovering from a positive coronavirus test.
But it is crystal clear that Leicester’s victory in such difficult circumstances means that there is absolutely no reason why any Premier League club should now seek a postponement.
It was similarly proved last week when Liverpool, who are missing 10 players, were within their right to request that the Carabao Cup match against the Foxes be postponed. Instead, they moved on and got their own reward. After all, what is the point of a club having an academy if they do not want to use it?
Klopp, meanwhile, will review the events at King Power to find out what needs to change ahead of a trip to Chelsea on Sunday, his team simply can not afford to lose.
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The impending loss of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita to the Africa Cup of Nations means the trio may be ready to start at Stamford Bridge, though without the big surprise for all but the latter.
And the Reds boss wants his players to react the same way they did after their only second defeat this season at West Ham United in early November.
As against Leicester, the setback came after a short run of unconvincing performances. However, the reaction caused Liverpool to win eight games in a row – six in the Premier League – to retire in the title race.
But while Klopp and his players had fourteen days to steep over the Hammers loss, there is now no time to feel sorry for themselves. Liverpool simply have to become the relentless Reds again.