FOUR home games without a win, no goals at Anfield for 348 minutes and now Manchester City visiting on Sunday.
The title defence is falling apart spectacularly for Jurgen Klopp and the biggest shock is that it is happening all in front of the Kop.
Brighton struck a dagger blow into the Reds’ title chaseCredit: AP:Associated Press
Steven Alzate’s goal for the gleeful Seagulls made it two wins on the bounceCredit: AP:Associated Press
Whether this staggering set of results would have been any different had fans been watching from one of the sport’s iconic stands is something we will never know.
But for the time being, it is probably a good job there are no supporters inside this famous fortress. The pain and total embarrassment being inflicted on the champions is staggering.
It is the first time since 2012 that Liverpool have lost successive home matches in the Premier League.
First West Brom, then Manchester United, Burnley and now Brighton, who left with three points thanks to an admittedly fortunate second half goal with everyone still scratching their heads at who actually scored.
Colombian midfielder Steven Alzate was claiming it – although it also took a slight touch off Leandro Trossard. And it came about after a mess of a clearance from Nat Phillips.
But the worst thing for Liverpool is that they failed to manage a decent shot on goal and Brighton were rewarded for their organisation and work-rate with one of their finest wins since arriving in the Premier League.
It was a stunning team performance from Graham Potter’s much improved team and Adam Webster was just about the pick.
Liverpool have not scored since Sadio Mane registered at the start of a 1-1 draw at home to West Brom which began this dodgy run. Their last win at Anfield, against Spurs, seemed a very long time ago.
Jurgen Klopp was unimpressed with what his side producedCredit: AFP
The Reds struggled to get shots on target off
The Reds are seven points behind Manchester City and have played a game more. If they lose to City – and on current form this is entirely possible – Liverpool will be out of the title race. Realistically, they will have surrendered with 15 matches to play.
The end to the season could be both slow and painful.
As Klopp arrived at Anfield, he realised that driving in the car behind was Ben Davies, the shock new signing from Preston.
Yet there was no place in the starting XI for Davies, who he had to settle for a place on the bench with Jordan Henderson and Phillips featuring in central defence.
Yet while Henderson has been doing well at the back, the team miss their skipper in midfield, particularly in games like this where Brighton worked hard and made life incredibly difficult for the champions.
Mo Salah looked annoyed with himself after sticking a shot over the bar when he was clean through, but that was a rare moment from the home side.
Because it was Brighton who looked more dangerous and it was fortunate for Liverpool that the visitors’ best chance fell to defender Dan Burn, who failed to get a proper connection with his shot. His sliced effort illustrated why his last goal came for Wigan against Fleetwood in April 2018.
Yet Ben White, Solly March and the lively Neal Maupay all had half chances for Brighton who looked incredibly comfortable at the back.
Mo Salah was left frustrated by BrightonCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Klopp tried switching it up in the second halfCredit: Reuters
Brighton were excellent in the first half and the most bored man on the pitch would have been visiting keeper Robert Sanchez,who had absolutely nothing to do in the opening 45 minutes.
The last 0-0 between these two was at the Goldstone Ground in 1961 and certainly at half-time, a repeat scoreline looked a real possibility.
Not that they could have been any worse, but Liverpool did look a bit sharper in the second half. And then they conceded.
It was a terrific build-up, yet you would have thought Liverpool – and in particular right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold – would have noticed the 6ft 7in Burn lurking at the far post.
Yet Burn got his head to March’s cross and while Phillips attempted the clearance, he merely ended up seeing his effort cannon off Alzate and into the net, albeit with that minor touch of Trossard.
Klopp made his changes while Brighton lost March due to injury with Adam Lallana making his return to Anfield.
Ahead of the trip to his former home, Lallana would have laughed had you told him he would be coming on with his team defending a 1-0 win.
Stand in goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was left picking the ball out of his netCredit: AP:Associated Press
Liverpool’s best chance came through Salah who just missed the target but the fact it came with 20 minutes left tells you everything you need to know.
Klopp was forced to select Caoimhin Kelleher in goal as Alisson was ill – and the Irish keeper prevented Gross from making it 2-0 with a good stop.
Alisson woke up feeling unwell but he should be back in goal for the home match with City. And on current form, the Brazilian keeper will be extremely busy.
In fact, you could not blame him for pulling a sickie.