The only loss Liverpool had suffered this season prior to the winter break was away to Napoli in the Champions League — though a youthful Reds team did lose to Aston Villa in the League Cup — but now Klopp has presided over three defeats in the last four matches.
Since the 10-day winter break, Liverpool has scraped past bottom club Norwich, lost to Atletico Madrid, squeaked past struggling West Ham thanks to a goalkeeping howler, suffered a surprise defeat by relegation-threatened Watford and has now been beaten by Chelsea. In those three defeats Liverpool failed to score and in their last four games have shipped eight goals.
The poor run is no doubt amplified by the ludicrously high standards Liverpool has set this season; any slight blip was bound to cause concern.
However, Klopp was adamant that he’s not worried about Liverpool’s run of form following Tuesday’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat by Frank Lampard’s side.
“Losing 2-0 is not good, but in this case it’s relatively easy to explain,” Klopp told reporters after the match. “We made two massive mistakes around the goals. The performance tonight was completely different to the performance against Watford. Against Watford, it was really bad. Tonight, it was not bad.
“I liked the reaction. I liked the way we played. There was some good stuff. It was a super intense game. We made seven changes because we knew it would be intense. But I’m not concerned about momentum. It’s football.
“We never thought that it would be an easy season, that it would be an easy period, that it would be an easy game tonight. Nothing. It was always difficult, but we did very well. We were just not good enough in decisive moments, and that’s what we have to accept.”
Liverpool boasts a seemingly insurmountable 22-point lead over Manchester City and a first top flight title in 30 years looks to be a formality.
But this run of form, in particular the defensive frailties that have appeared, will worry Liverpool fans — and Klopp — as the team tries to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Liverpool welcomes Diego Simeone’s side to Anfield on March 12 and many would still put the Reds as the overwhelming favorite to progress — bearing in mind last season’s 4-0 demolition of Barcelona.
“Momentum went our way for so long because we defended outstandingly,” said Klopp as he reflected on his side’s FA Cup defeat.
“Usually you don’t get a lot of chances against us but now we have to admit that in the last four games we conceded absolutely too many goals. But they are all completely different situations, so it’s not one problem.
“I’m not worried about momentum. You don’t get it as a present and you have always the chance to get it back. We’re not 100 miles away and the boys are strong. We have done very well but tonight was not good enough in decisive moments and that is what we have to accept.”
Liverpool’s frustration, on show throughout the defeat to Watford, was palpable against Chelsea, as evidenced by outbursts from Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk.
Up next for the wobbling Reds is Saturday’s home Premier League tie against struggling Bournemouth and a resounding victory would certainly inject some life into what appear to be some lethargic legs.