Much has been made of the fact the Reds were still fighting for what would have been a historic quadruple right until the last few minutes of the Premier League season before some late drama at the Etihad handed the title to Manchester City.
Though they finished runners up in the league, Liverpool’s Carabao Cup and FA Cup glory went some way to softening the blow as City paraded the Premier League trophy. There was still plenty of optimism and good feeling between the end of the league season and the Champions League final last weekend.
Facing off with Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp’s side were viewed as favourites but ended up being toppled by a resilient Los Blancos outfit who ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a Vinicius Jr strike just before the hour mark.
The result was a painful one from a Reds perspective for obvious reasons, but also marked a worrying trend Liverpool have overseen throughout this season.
While it is a clear achievement that Klopp’s men have reached three cup finals this term – all three have passed them by without scoring a single goal in more than four and a half hours of football. Both the of the domestic cup competitions were secured via penalty shootouts once the game had finished 0-0 after 120 minutes.
It is a feat that goes against a theory posed by Liverpool legend Ian Rush, who waxed lyrical about his former side’s ability to score goals back in March.
Speaking exclusively to Mirror Football on behalf of Gambling.com, the Reds record goal-scorer said: “I find it very rare that Liverpool cannot score a goal, if they play for an hour [without scoring], they just change two or three players and it makes a big difference.”
The Welsh legend went on to make a bold claim and compared the Liverpool squad to the one City one that pipped them to the title. “Our strength in depth now is equal to Manchester City – I think Manchester City know that now as well.”
Klopp certainly has more than enough attacking players at his disposal, but not even the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane could penetrate the Chelsea or Real Madrid defence. More recent additions Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz failed to fare much better when it mattered most.
Their form in front of goal could be hindered even further if recent reports surrounding Mane’s future are to be believed, with the Senegal international behind some eyebrow-raising comments in the aftermath of the defeat by Real Madrid.
“I think it’s a tricky one the game tonight, we are disappointed – the fans have been amazing, I want to thank them for everything and the boss, I wish this team all the success in the world,” Mane explained.
The 30-year-old is rumoured to have his heart set on a move to Bayern Munich and the German giants are reportedly just as keen.