Roberto Firmino problem returns as Liverpool handed Man City headache – Liverpool Echo

Here is your Liverpool morning digest on Thursday, February 4.

Players rated after poor Brighton defeat

Liverpool lost their second successive home match last night as Brighton secured a 1-0 victory at Anfield.

It was a flat attacking display from the Reds, almost a carbon copy of what happened a couple of weeks ago against Burnley.

Jurgen Klopp may have thought his side were back in form after impressive performances and results against Tottenham and West Ham United recently, but the low-block of Brighton frustrated the hosts.

Defending their Premier League title now looks a really tough task for Klopp‘s side, given their recent run at home, and Manchester City’s relentless run of results.

Caoimhin Kelleher – who came in for the ill Alisson – was Liverpool’s star man on the night, which really says it all about the hosts’ performance.

Xherdan Shaqiri failed to replicate the form he showed against West Ham at the weekend – but he wasn’t the only one.

Divock Origi struggled, albeit from the bench, and his fellow substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain couldn’t make a real impact after coming on.

Roberto Firmino has been great in the last few games but the Brazilian forward gave the ball away far too often and never really got into a scoring position.

Mohamed Salah started off brightly – missing a great chance early on – but fizzled out on a really disappointing night for the Reds.

Read the full player ratings here.

Reds’ obvious problem emerges

Many experts and pundits may be trying to put their finger on what has happened to cause Liverpool’s recent form, but the answer is really obvious.

Klopp was without Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane and Joel Matip for the Brighton defeat.

No squad in the Premier League, not even Manchester City’s, could take on the absences the Reds have had to cope with this season and come out as a really strong side.

Liverpool were not good enough on the night, but when Klopp turned to his bench for the first time on 64 minutes, there wasn’t too much in terms of ‘game-changers’.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah

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The Reds have been very one-dimensional in their last four games at Anfield and the crowd’s absence is clearly having an impact as well.

Manchester City come to Anfield on Sunday in a game that can all-but rule Liverpool out of this season’s title race.

Klopp has a strong record against Pep Guardiola and it might’ve been a game that the City boss would usually fear due to recent meetings between the sides, but this match couldn’t come at a worse time for the reigning champions.

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