Five things we learned about Liverpool today

Chelsea Liverpool

Liverpool fell to a second straight 2-1 defeat, this time at the hands of title contenders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Sunday.

As was the case against Manchester City, Liverpool took an early lead but conceded twice to leave the Bridge empty-handed.

The loss leaves Brendan Rodgers’ men in fifth place in the table heading into the New Year, having topped the Premier League on Christmas Day.

Detailed below are five things we learned about Liverpool today:

Easing off

Liverpool’s tempo dropped against both Manchester City and Chelsea following the opener. Given, Martin Skrtel netted after just on three minutes on Sunday, but the Reds have twice now failed to take advantage after going in the lead against top opponents. It’s a worrying sign that Rodgers will be keen to address immediately.

Coutinho lacking end product

Too often the Brazilian burst forward to trouble the Blues’ defence, only to play a wayward final ball. Coutinho has matured since coming to Liverpool, but remains a work in progress.

Mignolet error prone

In the last two big games, Mignolet has gotten a hand to the eventual winner but failed to keep it out. The failure to deny Samuel Eto’o wasn’t nearly as bad as the Alvaro Negredo incident, though the Belgian should’ve done better. A great talent he still is, though his fallibility has come to the surface of late.

Injuries taking a toll

Daniel Sturridge’s absence has left Liverpool thin up front, whilst Steven Gerrard has been duly missed in big games. Joe Allen and Mamadou Sakho both limped off at Stamford Bridge to compound an injury list that also includes left-backs Jon Flanagan and Jose Enrique

January to be a trial

Liverpool face five games in four weeks to open 2014, the January run concluding with the season’s second Merseyside derby at Anfield. With two heartbreaking losses in a row under their belts, January will be a true test of the Liverpool's mettle. But Hull, Stoke and Aston Villa all represent highly winnable Premier League games.

image: © Freer-ers

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