Liverpool’s Premier League
Liverpool’s Premier League : Liverpool’s incredible season took a major step toward greatness Sunday with a 3-1 win over Manchester City at Anfield.
The Reds now boast an eight-point lead on the field after 12 matches, and lead Man City by nine points in a bid for its first league title of the Premier League era.
Yes, the Reds totally blew a bigger, later lead last season, but it certainly feels different this time around (especially with Man City needing to navigate more time without Aymeric Laporte).
As we’ve previously noted, Liverpool is unbeaten despite rarely being in top form this season. Jurgen Klopp‘s men will get to their best but are unbeaten despite not finding that form; The system is that good, the talent that deep.
So, assuming that an invincible season isn’t heading to Anfield, when will Liverpool lose its first match?
Looking ahead, if the Reds can manage the unpredictable nature of a Merseyside Derby on Dec. 4, it seems possible if not likely that the Reds will be unbeaten in the Premier League through Boxing Day.
How much longer after that, however, is a tall ask. The Reds’ five-match waltz after the international break is followed by a trip to Qatar which will, presuming an appearance in the Dec. 22 final, see them have three days to adjust to their home time zone and a visit to Leicester.
If the Reds manage to get a result there, they’ll face Wolves twice, Spurs once, and Man United once before the end of January. Then, and only then, might it be worth entertaining an unbeaten season.
Liverpool upcoming schedule
#West Ham fixture still to be rescheduled
*denotes match that depends on previous round
Nov. 23 – at Palace
Nov. 27 – v. Napoli (UCL)
Nov. 30 – v. Brighton
Dec. 4 – v. Everton
Dec. 7 – at Bournemouth
Dec. 10 – at Red Bull Salzburg (UCL)
Dec. 14 – v. Watford
Dec. 17 – at Aston Villa (League Cup)
Dec. 18 – v. Monterrey, Al-Sadd, or Hienghene Sport (CWC)
Dec. 22 – Club World Cup Final
Dec. 26 – at Leicester City
Dec. 29 – v. Wolves
Jan. 2 – v. Sheffield United
Jan. 4 or 5 – FA Cup third round
Jan. 7 or 8 – League Cup semi first leg*
Jan. 11 – at Spurs
Jan. 19 – v. Manchester United
Jan. 23 – at Wolves
Jan. 25 or 26 – FA Cup fourth round*
Jan. 28 or 29 – League Cup semi second leg*
Borussia Dortmund hurting after heavy loss in Munich
BERLIN (AP) Borussia Dortmund is hurting again after another heavy Bundesliga defeat in Munich.
Dortmund lost 4-0 in the “der Klassiker” against rival Bayern Munich on Saturday, being fortunate not to concede more goals.
Dortmund’s lackluster performance has been criticized following sporting director Michael Zorc’s call for a “men’s soccer” type of performance in the buildup for the game. Instead, Dortmund delivered what Kicker magazine called “scaredy-cat soccer.”
“A lot of our players just weren’t there today,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said. “That’s the biggest disappointment.”
Zorc was even more critical of the performance.
“That wasn’t football at all, to be honest,” he said. “Bayern were on top and better in every respect. Bayern completely took over after 15 minutes and we were second-best at everything. That’s why Bayern also deserved to win by this score.”
It was Dortmund’s fifth consecutive heavy defeat in Munich. It lost 5-0 in April, 6-0 last year, 4-1 in 2017 and 5-1 in 2015. In its last six games in Munich, Dortmund has been outscored 26-3.
“It was beautiful that the talk before the game was of men’s football,” said Bayern forward Thomas Muller, who set up two goals. “As I’m a bit older now, 30, I know that it gives you a bit extra inspiration. The way I see it, that’s why we are German champions seven times in a row. It’s always wonderful when the Dortmunders come to Munich and we play like we did today.”
Bayern appeared to be in crisis after firing coach Niko Kovac following the team’ 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt – its heaviest league defeat in over 10 years.
But Kovac’s dismissal seems to have come as a relief to some players, and interim coach Hansi Flick has now overseen two wins from two competitive games, with no goals conceded. Bayern reached the last 16 of the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday.
Bayern’s will to win on Saturday contrasted sharply with Dortmund’s, which will be under increased pressure after it appeared to have turned a corner following a series of questionable results.
Dortmund had strung together three consecutive wins – over league leader Borussia Monchengladbach in the German Cup, previously unbeaten Wolfsburg in the league, and Inter Milan in the Champions League, when the team displayed great morale to come back from two goals down and win 3-2.
But there was none of that in Munich on Saturday, and Favre and his superiors are left wondering how to consistently get the best from the talented but fallible team.
“We expected a lot from this game,” Zorc said. “Then we delivered what is basically a non-performance. I’m disappointed. You can’t even say that it was just a lack of challenges. We were also bad when we had the ball, we gave it away and simply made it too easy for Bayern. That was a huge disappointment.”