After a little over three years in charge at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers received his marching orders on Sunday hours after a 1-1 draw at Everton left the Reds lying in tenth spot.
While the Reds’ current position and points tally after just eight games isn’t disastrous, the powers that be at Anfield seemingly didn’t envisage things getting much better under Rodgers.
In all honesty, there appeared to be a slight inevitability about the Northern Irishman’s departure and from a results point of view, the motion towards his dismissal was set long before Sunday.
Here are five key results which we believe led to Rodgers’ departure:
Crystal Palace 3-1 Liverpool:
After just missing out on the title the previous season playing a marvellous brand of football, Rodgers was held in such high regard on Merseyside and complete faith was shown in him by his peers.
Rodgers was allowed to spend big after losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona, yet a number of signings failed to add much to the table, with Mario Balotelli among the most questionable.
Following an indifferent start, the Reds headed to Palace following back-to-back defeats to Newcastle United and Chelsea and put in arguably their worst performance under Rodgers.
Liverpool, that day, simply looked a shadow of the team which performed so well the season before.
Liverpool 1-1 Basel:
Liverpool’s return to the Champions League wasn’t convincing, yet they headed into the final group game with Basel knowing that victory over the Swiss outfit would see them progress to the knockout stages.
Summer signing Lazar Markovic received a straight red card to halt any Liverpool momentum following Basel’s early opener, and Steven Gerrard this time couldn’t save them despite netting a late free-kick.
The Reds’ ensuing campaign in the Europa League ended swiftly with defeat to Besiktas.
Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United:
Following Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford in December, the Reds were left trailing their rivals by 10 points and languishing in mid-table.
However, a fabulous run of form up until the reverse fixture ensued and many pundits were now tipping the Merseysiders to beat their rivals and pip them to that all-important fourth spot.
However, Gerrard’s sending-off 38 seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute allowed the visitors to fend off any sort of comeback and claim a vital three points.
After blowing the chance to overtake their rivals, Liverpool were left five points adrift of United in fourth.
Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool:
The Reds’ top four charge had ended long before the final game of the season, yet that was no excuse for the utterly inept performance shown by Rodgers’ side at the Britannia Stadium.
Amazingly, for the first time in Premier League history, the Anfield outfit found themselves 5-0 down at half-time, and they became the butt of all jokes on an otherwise unassuming final day of the campaign.
Liverpool 0-3 West Ham United:
Fans over the summer were already dubious to Rodgers’ ability to turn things around, yet faith was still shown in him by the board as they once again sanctioned big-money deals.
Two wins and a draw in their opening three games was a good return, yet performances weren’t great and doubts were already being aired regarding Christian Benteke and Rodgers’ contrasting styles of play.
The final nail in the coffin seemingly arrived on the fourth game of the season. Liverpool crashed to a 3-0 home defeat to West Ham, though it was the reaction which spoke loudest.
Liverpool fans didn’t boo, a large number simply walked out before the final whistle, resulting in Anfield looking as sparse as it has done in years at the end of the encounter.
A following defeat to Manchester United and home draws with Carlisle United (League Cup victory on penalties) and Norwich City were also notable, yet the damage had already been done.