For the majority of the season so far, Liverpool have been on course to mount a serious title challenge.
The club remain unbeaten in the Premier League, but they were given a jolt on Wednesday evening in Naples.
Jurgen Klopp’s team were beaten 1-0 by Napoli in a Champions League group clash, but the more worrying aspect was the performance.
The Merseyside outfit lacked urgency and flair, and instead were disjointed and lacklustre.
The front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were ineffective, while the midfield struggled to find a way through.
Naby Keita started in the middle of the park alongside James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum, but he was stretchered off after 19 minutes and replaced by Jordan Henderson.
After the match, professional data analyst Dan Kennett suggested on Twitter that the combination of Milner, Wijnaldum and Henderson will rarely make an impact if the forward trio are neutralised.
There’s a gazillion reasons why the team didn’t function going forwards. But Hendo & Gini only playing 12 forward passes out of 87 is a big one.
*If* you can keep the front 3 quiet then you’re in with a shout because the Milner/Gini/Hendo midfield isn’t going to trouble you.
— Dan Kennett (@DanKennett) October 3, 2018
His comments sparked a debate on Reddit.