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Liverpool: Ibrahima Konate was “bullied” during woeful Brentford defeat

Liverpool appeared to have stopped the boat from rocking amid the turbulent waters they have found themselves surrounded by this season, but progress was unravelled once again against Brentford.

Despite winning four league matches on the trot and starting to alleviate the concerns that a lacklustre start to the campaign had sprouted, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds were comfortably beaten at the Gtech Community Stadium, in a display with an array of lapses in concentration.

Losing 3-1, the offensive bite had no teeth, and the midfield had the control of a racing car with a punctured tyre, but it was the defensive errors, littered throughout the evening affair, that proved to be the detrimental blow.

And now languishing in sixth place in the division, four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand at home to AFC Bournemouth, Klopp is in very real danger of missing out on Champions League football next term.

There were a host of substandard performances, with talisman Darwin Nunez failing to take advantage of the promising situations he conjures, but it was £36m French defender Ibrahima Konate who was Liverpool’s real villain on the night.

As per Sofascore, the World Cup finalist, with his first performance back for Liverpool, recorded an abysmal match rating of 5.5, conceding an unfortunate own goal to open the Bees’ stinging triad of strikes and being consistently “bullied” by the home outfit’s forwards – as criticised by Terry Flewers. 

Making just one tackle and one interception all night, despite the sustained pressure on the Liverpool goal, the 23-year-old also won just three of his total duels and was dribbled past by Bryan Mbeumo far too easily for the definitive bulge of the net to swat any hopes of a late comeback away.

Journalist Robin Mumford also lamented the French colossus for his “disasterclass”, which will be of concern to Klopp following Virgil van Dijk’s withdrawal at half-time with a suspected injury. 

His blushes were spared further by the VAR calls to chalk off two more Brentford goals, both ruled out for marginal offsides, and the Reds’ German boss will be left scratching his head at how so many mistakes seep through on a regular basis.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Let's start easy - how many points did Liverpool collect in their 2021/22 Premier League campaign?

This is a football club that has won almost every major honour available under Klopp, chasing a historic quadruple last year before falling at the final hurdle, boasting some of the finest talents across the entire footballing globe, but the machine is spluttering, the system has run wayward, and the prestigious Merseyside club now face an uphill battle to achieve top-four. 

Liverpool can take solace in the defeat by glimpsing recent £35m signing Cody Gakpo, who is emerging as a prolific presence in the game, though no amount of offensive firepower will rectify the wrongs if the organisation and structure of Klopp’s outfit continues to wobble off-balance. 

And Konate, who has been lauded as a “dream” by Liverpool legend Phil Thompson before, will need to refocus ahead of what is set to be a defining few months under Klopp’s esteemed tenure at the club.