Liverpool show strain of long season in FA Cup loss to Chelsea | Football News

Nick Wright

Comment and Analysis @nicholaspwright

Have Liverpool’s sky-high standards dipped? Tuesday’s FA Cup defeat by Chelsea made it three losses in four games

Last Updated: 04/03/20 12:51pm

Jurgen Klopp pictured with Andrew Robertson at Stamford Bridge

Three minutes into Tuesday night’s enthralling FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge, Jurgen Klopp turned to his coaching staff on the Liverpool bench and grinned. His side, so sluggish in their defeat to Watford three days earlier, had started at a relentless pace. This was more like it.

Kurt Zouma was the first Chelsea player to blink, losing possession deep in his own half within seconds of kick-off. But he was not the only one to find red shirts swarming around him at every turn. The pressure felt relentless. Crosses flew into the box from both flanks. Kepa Arrizabalaga made a low save from Sadio Mane when he should have scored.

By the time the final whistle sounded around Stamford Bridge, however, Liverpool’s strong start was forgotten and Chelsea were the ones smiling. Klopp described the performance as “completely different” from the one at Watford. But their latest setback provided further evidence that Liverpool might finally be showing the strain of a long campaign.

Klopp’s side, imperious for so much of this season, have suddenly lost three of their last four games in all competitions. It is a run which has cost them their Premier League…