15 Premier League games ago, Liverpool beat Swansea City and Brendan Rodgers claimed his side could finish the season as high as second – since then they’ve lost 7 of 14 games and have a goal difference of – 12.
After a fifth successive league win and 13 games unbeaten, Rodgers got carried away and talked up his side finishing second to champions-in-waiting Chelsea.
“Manchester City’s result at the weekend (a 1-0 defeat to Burnley) gives us an opportunity to finish second,” he said.
“Our mentality, the run and confidence we have at the moment we’re just going to take that into every game and see where it takes us.”
Within a week, Rodgers’ side had suffered a home defeat to Man United. A week later it was a 4-1 thrashing at Arsenal. A fortnight later it was a dire FA Cup semi-final exit to Aston Villa.
Defeats to Hull City, Crystal Palace and Stoke City followed before the season ended, shipping 10 goals in those three games alone.
Somehow Rodgers survived such a poor run of form.
After five games of the new season, his side already have a negative goal difference and have won just two of their five matches – one courtesy of a Coutinho strike from 25 yards and the other a fortuitous offside Benteke goal.
That gives Liverpool the following Premier League record in their last 14 games – since Rodgers said they could finish second:
GOAL DIFFERENCE: – 12
Over a 38 game season, that would be 40 points – the amount often cited as being required to survive relegation.
Next up for Liverpool is a Europa League trip to Bordeaux on Thursday. A return to European competition – where Rodgers has won 6 of 16 games (excluding qualifiers) in his time in charge at Anfield.
MAN UNITED 3-1 LIVERPOOL POST-MATCH COVERAGE
- ANALYSIS: Rodgers’ position in question
- PLAYER RATINGS
- TALKING POINTS: Lack of character, negative tactics, Skrtel & Lovren calamitous
- FAN REACTION: Time for fresh ideas
- MATCH REPORT: Second half strikes sink poor Reds