You wait two-thirds of a season for a bus and then three jumbo jets race by all at once.
Just over two weeks ago, Liverpool swaggered into the Spanish capital, unbeaten in 2,000 days and 300 competitive matches. But, little did they know, that fateful night in Madrid would signal the beginning of a slump to end all slumps. Well, a slump anyway.
The Reds were undone by the ultimate villain Diego Pablo Simeone González and Atletico Madrid performance, and having stared into the eyes of the defensive devil himself, Jurgen Klopp’s men have seemingly been stunned.
Liverpool lost 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano in February, and that defeat has been followed up by two more bouts of away-day blues at the hands of Watford and a limp 2-0 FA Cup exit at Chelsea on Tuesday. Milner1MorataWho has scored more goals in Champions League 2019/20?
A minor bump in the road, one may dismissively describe this wretched run of form. But Opta revealed a worrying pattern for the Reds, who have now lost three consecutive away games in all competitions for the first time since November 2014.
That’s right, folks. We must delve down into the dark days of Brendan Rodgers’ stint at Anfield to unearth a spell of travel-sickness as bad as Klopp’s current conundrum.
The Merseysider’s troubles in 2014 began with a trip up north, where they fired a blank at St James’ Park, losing 1-0 to Newcastle United thanks to an Ayoze Perez strike. The Reds then suffered a 1-0 defeat in Madrid (sound familiar?) – although they succumbed to the powers of Atleti’s neighbours, Real Madrid. No shame in that, really.
Liverpool did finally find the net during those three matches in their final failure at Crystal Palace, when Reds legend Rickie Lambert opened the scoring at Selhurst Park. But goals from Dwight Gayle, Joe Ledley and Mile Jedinak condemned Rodgers and Co to their third away loss on the bounce.
Returning to 2020, Klopp’s men have failed to beat any of the three goalkeepers they have faced in this new run of defeats, losing the trio of fixtures 6-0 on aggregate. A collective shellacking.
The Premier League champions-to-be have now been knocked out of both domestic cup competitions, and face an battle to remain in the Champions League next Wednesday. A date with destiny – and with Diego Pablo Simeone González awaits, once more.
Don’t fear the reaper, Reds.