Brendan Rodgers has highlighted a lack of invention as the biggest factor in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United…
Liverpool slipped to their fourth Premier League defeat of the season on Saturday afternoon in an uninspiring performance against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
The visitors managed only six efforts at goal during the 90 minutes and were undone defensively by a Ayoze Pérez strike in the 73rd minute.
The goal came at the end of a counter-attack move that began when Glen Johnson had a shot blocked and ended when Alberto Moreno failed to clear Moussa Sissoko’s centre.
Analysing an otherwise largely uneventful contest, Kop boss Brendan Rodgers told his post-match press conference: “I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game, but we didn’t do enough to win it.
“We had enough of the ball and good movement in front of the ball, but we just lacked that bit of creativity and invention in the final third of the field.
“Anything we had to deal with up until the goal, we dealt well with defensively – there were no real issues. But we made a mistake and the mistake, unfortunately, has cost us the game and that’s the biggest disappointment.
“If you can’t score the goals to win the game, then it’s important that you don’t concede. Up until that point, we were solid defensively.”
A lack of goals has been a constant problem for Liverpool this season despite the team netting over 100 in the league last term.
So far this time around the Merseysiders have netted just 13 times in 10 Premier League fixtures, including drawing consecutive blanks in their last two outings.
That tally is the joint lowest in the top 10 and it’s an issue that Rodgers is acutely aware of.
“Over the last 18 months, we were a team that was a real threat going forward,” remarked the Northern Irishman. “We’ve lost probably 80 per cent of our goals out of the team with Luis [Suarez] going and Dan [Sturridge’s injury].
“We can’t keep going on about it but it is an item as to why we’re not getting so many goals.
“When you’re a team that can score goals, that gives the team confidence. At the moment, we’re finding the goals a little bit harder to come by, but it’s not through lack of effort. The players are working tirelessly on the training field, working very hard.
“Last season we scored a lot of early goals and we haven’t been able to do that so much this season. It’s one of a number of reasons.”
Up next is the small matter of a trip to the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday night for a Champions League clash with reigning European Cup holders Real Madrid.
“To play Real Madrid at the Bernabeu tells us that we’ve been doing okay,” added Rodgers. “But of course, we’re in a transition phase. We want to be better and we need to be better. So the game Tuesday night is a wonderful game for us.
“We’re still very much in the group to qualify, which is the objective. It’s a big ask playing against arguably the best team in the world at the moment.
“But we’ll go into it with confidence. The players will be back up again after today’s result and we’ll go into that game looking to get something from it.”
Liverpool remain 7th in the Premier League standings but are now 12 points behind leaders Chelsea and could slip as low as 9th depending on other results this weekend.
In Europe, they currently sit 3rd in Group B but defeat to Real is almost certain to leave them needing to win their last two games to progress to the knockout stage.
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