Liverpool 1-4 Man City: Match of the Day's analysis of Reds' problems

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Match of the Day 2 won’t have made pleasant viewing for Liverpool fans on Sunday night. 

Those that tuned in will have been subjected to another glimpse of the 4-1 thrashing by Manchester City at Anfield. 

Even in isolation, the result was a damning reflection of the champions’ title hopes. 

The fact it followed a defeat to Brighton – which itself came just a fortnight after the loss to Burnley – makes it all the more alarming. 

Pundits are beginning to dissect exactly what has gone wrong for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season. 

And aside from the obvious setbacks of injuries to the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, Alan Shearer and Jermaine Jenas believe that games being held behind closed doors is affecting Liverpool very badly indeed. 

Where have Liverpool gone wrong? 

“There are so many factors with the Liverpool one,” Jenas said on MotD, per the Liverpool Echo.

“Obviously, that place, Anfield, is just sacred. [Alan], you’ve said yourself being in that ground when they beat Barcelona was probably the most special atmosphere you’ve been involved in.

“Van Dijk not being there, the heights that they hit last year as well, it was always going to be difficult for them to maintain. But it’s definitely a factor (no fans).”

Shearer echoed that view. 

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“They are human,” he said. “They are players who also suffer crises in confidence, and there’s one or two who are doing that,” he added.

“They’ve lost their most influential player, they’ve lost their crowd – and you can imagine the crowd when Man City miss that penalty and when Liverpool get the equaliser. That place would have been rocking, so they’ve missed that, there’s no doubt about it.”

Anfield’s reputation as a fortress means there could be something in that – though rival fans will be quick to point out Liverpool aren’t the only team affected by having no fans in stadia. 

Debate will rage on about where their title defence has gone wrong, but it’s incredible nonetheless to think that Klopp’s men have now lost three home games in a row following an unbeaten run of three-and-a-half years. 

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