Liverpool’s incredible 44-game unbeaten run in the Premier League is over.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were surprisingly beaten 3-0 by Watford on Saturday evening to end any chances of them going the entire campaign unbeaten.
Not that the Reds will be too disappointed as they remain 22 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table in their quest to win their first ever Premier League title.
But what went wrong at Vicarage Road? Well, plenty of fans and pundits were pointing the finger at Dejan Lovren.
Lovren came in for the injured Joe Gomez, with Klopp opting for the Croatian over Joel Matip. But in only his ninth league appearance of the season, Lovren was bullied for 90 minutes by Troy Deeney.
After the match, Deeney said Watford had targeted “the weaker of the two” central defenders as he attempted to play on Lovren, rather than Virgil van Dijk.
Since Saturday evening, Liverpool supporters have heavily criticised Lovren on social media for Liverpool’s loss and are blaming him for the first defeat of the season.
In fact, their anger goes beyond this season.
That’s because they believe Lovren was to blame for Liverpool’s only loss in the league last season.
That came away to Manchester City with Lovren allowing Sergio Aguero far too much time and space in the penalty area to put City 1-0 up in a game they won 2-1.
That result proved pivotal in the title race as Liverpool lost out to City by just one point, despite earning 97.
So, Lovren is to blame for Liverpool failing to go unbeaten in the previous two campaigns? Liverpool fans certainly think so.
But Klopp has defended his player and insisted he was far from the only poor performer against Watford.
“It was a massive challenge for him to play against Troy Deeney,” Klopp said. “So many other centre-halves would struggle in this specific situation, Joe has had problems as well.
“Losing the first ball is never the problem, because Troy cannot score from there, so it’s about formations around that.
“Both Dejan and Joel Matip have played sensational games for us in this position but you need to be healthy and fit and when you are fit you need rhythm and that is the most difficult thing to get in football. Dejan is an outstanding centre-half.
“You tell me one player on Saturday night who played his normal level and I would be really surprised. It’s not because two players didn’t play the week before.”
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