The defeat against Arsenal when they came back from behind despite not doing anything else the rest of the game, and QPR being dominated, conceding a two-goal lead, only to pull it back in the last 15 minutes for a stunning win.
It’s been mentioned on this site before about teams somehow turning in the performances of their seasons when they play the Reds. Norwich comes to mind when they suddenly dominated Liverpool at Anfield to rally an equaliser and hold on for the point. Swansea took Dalglish’s men to the cleaners and were unlucky to not get a winner.
Cardiff nearly turned the tables in Wembley a month ago. Now QPR, staring down the drain against a fabulous Sebastien Coates goal and a second from Dirk Kuyt, only to come out of the other end with a memorable win. It’s a confidence issue with Liverpool.
If you play well for the majority of the game and still don’t get many results – and goals in particular – then a two goal lead will naturally get you to drop your guard a bit. It’s ill advised but natural nonetheless. Only the players can fight against this.
Winning cup ties is easier compared to league encounters, purely from a psychological perspective. In a cup game, it’s now or never. You either go through or you don’t and it all depends on how you play on the day. There’s more at stake.
That attitude’s helped Liverpool in the past, who have a history of turning up with the goods when the chips seem at their lowest. This however needs to be continued throughout the season. Holding Kenny Dalglish responsible here probably wouldn’t be a fair assessment, given there’s only so far you can go to motivate people.
It’s time the senior players took charge and maybe drill in to themselves as well as the rest of the team that slipping off every now and again just isn’t good enough. Manchester United didn’t get to equalling Liverpool’s record by dozing off at regular intervals in exchange for stellar cup performances.
Their players, through the generations seem to have that extra drive and passion motoring them through tough spots. Liverpool players over the last few years have competed well but always fallen short of that extra edge of desire and grit to absolutely get that winning goal past the opponents no matter what.
It’s been more like they’re thankful every time something goes their way rather than considering it a just reward for their efforts.
This subtle lack of belief may be what’s kept Liverpool a few steps away from returning to the top where they belonged to for so many years.
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