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Opinion: Klopp has to learn from Rodgers’ failings and change the one key aspect of Liverpool’s game



Liverpool certainly have got one of the most exciting attacks in the footballing world. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane can rip apart any defence in the Premier League, and maybe even in Europe, as the trio set out to do more damage in the coming season.

The high spending in the summer transfer window has led to raised expectations and the possibility of a Premier League title charge is not far from what the Reds could achieve this season.

However, for all their brilliance in attack, the need for a sound defence is just as important to fulfilling our dream of picking up the Premier League title.

Attack wins games, defence wins titles

Jurgen Klopp has created something special at Anfield but while we marvel at what our attack does, our defence has started to take shape under the German too.

In his first season in charge, we conceded a total of 50 goals from 38 Premier League games. Granted, Klopp was not in charge for all the games as he replaced Brendan Rodgers at the helm.

The next season, we did perform better as we made it to the top-four of the league. However, we still conceded more than a goal a game and finished with 42 goals conceded from the 38-game season.

Interestingly enough, we conceded just one goal per Premier League game last season, making it 38 from 38. Of course, we also brought in Virgil van Dijk in the winter window and the Dutch defender did help us reach the Champions League final plus another secure another finish in the top-four.

Now, why is this so important in the grand scheme of things? Well, the champions of England normally conceded one goal or less per game on the way to the title.

They might not be the club with the best defensive record but keeping the goals down is just as important as scoring them.

The last three champions of the Premier League conceded merely 27, 33 and 36 goals. Goalscoring is not as important as Leicester showed in the 2015/16 season. The Foxes only scored 68 goals, the third-best in the division that year, but they had the second-best defence with just 36 goals conceded.

Even in the close title race of 2013/14, when Manchester City pipped us to the crown, we had scored over 100 goals in the league while City just bettered that by one goal.

Their defence though, conceded 37 goals while we let in 50. Our defence was the one reason why we failed to lift the title back then.

In fact, you would have to go back to the 2012/13 season to find the last champion to have conceded more than one goal per game. Manchester United did that by letting in 43 goals but they still won the title over City by 11 points.

Progress has been the key to Liverpool under Klopp in these three years or so. We have seen the side transform and rise from the ashes of Rodgers’ failings.

Read more: “I cannot kill your D-day show”: Klopp leaves door open for more signings at Liverpool

Now, we are standing on the cusp of something great with Liverpool and if the side can restrict the number of goals conceded, there is a real chance of us lifting the Premier League crown.

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