Liverpool came away with the win in a thrilling 3-2 game against Leicester City and have moved back up to fifth place in the Premier League table.
Three points in the bag! ? pic.twitter.com/GanEpXQOmN
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 23, 2017
Yet, it was not a convincing victory. This game showed that the Reds still have some ways to go before becoming legitimate title contenders.
They can score with the best of them, and probably are the best, but cannot hold onto a lead or make things harder than they need to be. Up 2-0 and dominating the first half, they allowed Leicester to score right before the half and cut the lead in half.
Then Jordan Henderson scores in the second-half to extend the lead to 3-1 and, at the time, gave the team and fans a reason to calm the nerves. But, right on the heels of his first goal in just over a year, Liverpool let Leicester make it 3-2. And soon after that, Leicester was taking a penalty with the opportunity to tie the game up. Simon Mignolet saved it, which has become a norm for him, but that doesn’t excuse the team’s play.
Teams like Manchester City and Chelsea know how to see a game through if you give them a two+ goal lead. They can control the game, and their defense is good enough to the point where they will protect leads.
Once you go down 2-0, 3-1, 3-0, etc. against the Reds, you know that you still have a chance to make a comeback. That’s not how it should be with great teams.
Liverpool is just so volatile and inconsistent throughout the full 90 minutes where you know they are going to have a few brain farts throughout the game. Great teams don’t do that. Opposing teams, even if they will never admit it, know that they have virtually no chance of coming back against Manchester City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and teams of that caliber. They have that stigma surrounding them.
If you want to be a real title contender, you have to be able to see a game out once you have a comfortable lead. But Liverpool’s defending does not allow for it. Just look at the first game of the season. They allowed the game to end in a tie in literally the last seconds. They have and will continue to throw points away.
Until they can shore up that side of their game, they should not be considered a genuine threat to dethrone Chelsea.