Kick-started by a demolition job at the Etihad five years ago, Jurgen Klopp has never lost two Premier League games in a row… so, ahead of the Merseyside Derby and after the 7-2 humiliation at Aston Villa, how have his Liverpool side responded to defeat?
- Jurgen Klopp has lost 24 Premier League games but never two on the bounce
- The Liverpool manager has always revitalised his side following a defeat
- The Reds’ 4-1 win against Man City after Klopp’s first loss in 2015 stands out
- Liverpool have always responded decisively in recent years from a setback
- After the heavy loss at Villa, can they avoid defeat in the Merseyside Derby?
Over five memorable years at the helm at Liverpool, from turning ‘doubters into believers’, one fact stands out: Jurgen Klopp has never lost two Premier League games in a row.
And don’t be misled into thinking that the recent all-conquering Reds have barely lost domestically under Klopp. His first two seasons were hard work and in total, he has lost a grand total of 24 Premier League games.
But off the back of his joint-worst defeat as Reds manager, following a shocking 7-2 humiliation against Aston Villa two weeks ago, could a second league defeat in a row be in the offing on Saturday?
Liverpool are looking to bounce back following a shock 7-2 defeat against Aston Villa
Jurgen Klopp is looking to keep in-tact his record of never losing two league matches in a row
2015-16 – 8 losses
- 8 Nov – Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 21 Nov – Man City 1-4 Liverpool
- 6 Dec – Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool
- 13 Dec – Liverpool 2-2 West Brom
- 20 Dec – Watford 3-0 Liverpool
- 26 Dec – Liverpool 1-0 Leicester
- 2 Jan – West Ham 2-0 Liverpool
- 13 Jan – Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal
- 17 Jan – Liverpool 0-1 Man Utd
- 23 Jan – Norwich 4-5 Liverpool
- 2 Feb – Leicester 2-0 Liverpool
- 6 Feb – Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland
- 20 March – Southampton 3-2 Liverpool
- 2 April – Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham
- 1 May – Swansea 3-1 Liverpool
- 8 May – Liverpool 2-0 Watford
2016-17 – 6 losses
- 20 Aug – Burnley 2-0 Liverpool
- 27 Aug – Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool
- 4 Dec – Bournemouth 4-3 Liverpool
- 11 Dec – Liverpool 2-2 West Ham
- 21 Jan – Liverpool 2-3 Swansea
- 31 Jan – Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
- 4 Feb – Hull 2-0 Liverpool
- 11 Feb – Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham
- 27 Feb – Leicester 3-1 Liverpool
- 4 March – Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
- 23 April – Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 1 May – Watford 0-1 Liverpool
This weekend’s Merseyside Derby represents an enormous opportunity for full-of-confidence table-toppers Everton against the Premier League champions, who they have not beaten in 10 years to the day.
That 2-0 scoreline at Goodison at 2010 represented the first match in the era of current owners Fenway Sports Group. Things have improved considerably since then, to say the least.
But since his appointment in 2015, just how has Klopp revitalised his side after a league defeat? From crushing blows against the top-guns as well as embarrassing defeats, Liverpool have always responded – though some reactions have been more impressive than others.
In fact, Klopp’s first defeat as Reds boss was followed up by arguably one of the standout performances under the German to this day.
A 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on 8 November 2015 had the fortuity of coming before an international break, giving Klopp time to ponder and evaluate his new troops.
A trip to the Etihad to face Man City was a daunting prospect. But after steamrolling into a 3-0 first-half lead, via the first taste of Klopp’s bombastic high-energy pressing game, Liverpool emerged 4-1 victors with Martin Skrtel putting the icing on the cake late on.
It was something of a statement victory. While results continued to be inconsistent, the style and mentality was slowly being cemented.
Even Klopp’s second defeat was followed up by an occasion at Anfield which sticks in the memory, much to the amusement of opposition supporters.
After a 2-0 loss at Newcastle – with now-Reds midfielder Gini Wijnaldum scoring – a stoppage-time Divock Origi equaliser spared Liverpool’s blushes at home to West Brom in a 2-2 draw.
That late leveller prompted Klopp to lead his side, hand-in hand, in front of the Kop to thank them for their support. A surprise? Yes. But it was another sign of the tangible link Klopp was looking to form with the fanbase early on.
Then again, a 3-0 defeat at Watford a week later meant – bluntly – Klopp’s side were in a rut. The Boxing Day follow-up win against Leicester, courtesy of a Christian Benteke header, is perhaps one of the more underrated wins of Klopp’s era.
Five more defeats would follow in what was a difficult first season for Klopp, with underachievement in the league largely covered up by an inspired run to the Europa League final.
Martin Skrtel celebrates his goal for Liverpool in a memorable 4-1 win at Man City in 2015
Klopp leads his team in saluting the Kop after a late goal nicked a point against West Brom
The following season was no cakewalk either, despite the fact Champions League qualification was secured. Klopp lost on six occasions – but the mantra in which his team responded would come to define a resolute, mentally-strong group of players.
A fair of February defeats on the road against Hull and Leicester were followed up by wins against north London trio – and top-four rivals – Tottenham and Arsenal, with Sadio Mane stealing the show on both occasions.
Even after a 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace in April 2017 – the last time Liverpool have lost at home in the league – Klopp’s side did not let that result hinder their top-four pursuit. A win at Watford, memorable for an acrobatic worldie from Emre Can, continued the ascent.
The German manager has always led his side to a result in the league following a defeat
KLOPP’S LEAGUE DEFEATS SEPTEMBER 2017-PRESENT
2017-18 – 5 losses
- 9 Sep – Man City 5-0 Liverpool
- 16 Sep – Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
- 22 Oct – Tottenham 4-1 Liverpool
- 28 Oct – Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield
- 22 Jan – Swansea 1-0 Liverpool
- 30 Jan – Huddersfield 0-3 Liverpool
- 10 Mar – Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool
- 17 Mar – Liverpool 5-0 Watford
- 6 May – Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
- 13 May – Liverpool 4-0 Brighton
2018-19 – 1 loss
- 3 Jan – Man City 2-1 Liverpool
- 12 Jan – Brighton 0-1 Liverpool
2019-20 – 3 losses
- 29 Feb – Watford 3-0 Liverpool
- 7 March – Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth
- 2 July – Man City 4-0 Liverpool
- 5 July – Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa
- 15 July – Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
- 22 July – Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea
2020-21 – 1 loss so far
4 Oct – Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool
17 Oct – Everton ?-? Liverpool
But it was the 2017-18 season when Liverpool first rose to the fore on the European stage under Klopp.
With Mo Salah setting the world alight in his first season, Klopp guided his side to the Champions League final and another top-four finish.
But early on, following a crushing 5-0 defeat at the Etihad to City, a Salah strike claimed a point at home to Burnley.
See, not every response was a winning reversal. At times, Klopp’s side have had to dig in, often grinding out a point late on.
But as that season wore on, Liverpool were a different animal following a loss. Defeat at Old Trafford was followed by a 5-0 thrashing against Watford (where Salah scored four) while what could have been a damaging loss at Chelsea late in the top-four race was not decisive.
The Reds saw off Brighton by a four-goal margin on the final day to ease concerns that everything hinged on that final in Kiev.
But since May 2018, Klopp has turned his promising side into something of a juggernaut. After all, you can’t judge responses to a defeat when you barely ever lose.
They lost just once in 2018-19, when they finished runners-up to Manchester City with 97 points.
That defeat came against Pep Guardiola’s side on January 3 – but a Salah penalty at Brighton nine days later meant that was soon forgotten.
Even last season, when Liverpool essentially had the league wrapped up by Christmas, the disappointment of the prospect of an unbeaten season being wiped out did not derail the Reds.
The surprise 3-0 defeat at Watford was followed by a win against Bournemouth, while indifferent form post-lockdown – but crucially, post title-crowning – still never resulted in two losses on the bounce.
Every defeat has been a wake-up call under Klopp. No doubt he has been extra demanding of his players in the aftermath and that has resulted in this impressive record.
However, that could all change come Saturday lunchtime.
Klopp has only won once at Goodison Park, with the last three encounters being somewhat dire goalless draws.
So, even without the recent drop in performance, a trip across Stanley Park has been one of Klopp’s bugbears in recent years. Opportunity knocks for Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees.
Salah’s penalty against Brighton in 2019 meant three points following the loss to Man City
Salah and strike partner Sadio Mane will be looking to do the damage up top on Saturday
Liverpool were woeful at Villa Park 13 days ago – and that perhaps is kind. A catalogue of mistakes all over the pitch, in a manner unheard of in recent years, means confidence is at a unusual low. Positive coronavirus tests to Thiago Alcantara, Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri have not helped, though all three players are now back in training.
The game being quick off the back of an international break should favour Everton too. Alongside four wins out of four, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s prolific form means this behind closed doors derby should not be scoreless.
Whether Everton can end up on the right side of the scoreline, though, is another matter. Klopp’s Reds have always responded after disappointment and in what is being described as the biggest Merseyside Derby in Premier League history, it would still be a bold call to bet agains the champions on Saturday.
Liverpool will have to stop Everton forward and current top-goalscorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin
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