Jürgen Klopp’s side are not what they were a year ago and their talisman is struggling to adapt to a new-look forward line
Form is a very fragile thing. Last autumn Mohamed Salah was playing perhaps as well as he ever had. His goal at Chelsea on 2 January was his 23rd in the Premier League and Champions League combined. Since when he has scored just 10 times, only seven of them from open play. It’s true that on Saturday he nearly won the Merseyside derby late on, his shot coming back off Jordan Pickford’s near post, but for him this was another disappointing afternoon. In isolation, perhaps, it wouldn’t draw the attention, but the pattern is clear.
It’s not just Salah. Liverpool as a whole have been short of their familiar level. None of Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have been anywhere near their best. Van Dijk especially, a player who for a time had seemed almost invincible, impossible to dribble past, seems not to have recovered from the chasing Aleksandar Mitrovic gave him on the opening Saturday of the season, and could easily have been sent off against Everton for his foul on Amadou Onana.