Are Liverpool wilting under pressure – or renewing their early-season steel? | Andy Hunter




The club have lost the Premier League lead but a side who have not conceded in five games are hardly ‘bottling it’

Jordan Henderson was unequivocal about how Liverpool would handle the slip from leaders to chasers in the title race. “It will not change our mindset,” the Liverpool captain said at Goodison Park where, on the streets outside, Evertonians rejoiced not in a goalless draw from the 233rd Merseyside derby but depriving their rivals of two precious points in pursuit of the Premier League crown. The midfielder’s message was upbeat but not reassuring. It is form, not mindset, that Liverpool need to change.

These are strange times for Jürgen Klopp and what seems his weekly appeal for calm and perspective around Liverpool’s prospects. Between two goalless draws away at Manchester United and Everton, decent and not unusual results in most seasons, stood the 5-0 trouncing of Watford, Liverpool’s biggest victory of the campaign and an exhibition to banish talk of “bottling it”. Four days later that creativity, inspiration and penetration were lacking in the face of an impassioned Everton team and crowd up for the task of stopping their neighbours. Goodison is an awkward old place for any opponent with title pretensions on those raucous occasions.

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