A former Red believes a first title triumph in 30 years will mean far more to the players than finishing the season without a loss on their record
Liverpool will not be disheartened after losing their unbeaten record at the hands of Watford, according to Jermaine Pennant, who insists Jurgen Klopp’s side will retain their fear-factor going forward.
The Reds were handed their first defeat of the season at Vicarage Road on Sunday, as the Hornets romped to a stunning 3-0 victory in front of their own fans.
An Ismaila Sarr double and a Troy Deeney goal ensured Watford picked up a deserved three points which saw them climb out of the relegation zone.
Liverpool were second best in all areas of the pitch and struggled to carve out clear goalscoring opportunities, a trend which seems to have built up since their return to action following the winter break.
Klopp’s men were similarly unconvincing during recent Premier League wins over Norwich and West Ham, and against Atletico Madrid in a Champions League last 16 first-leg defeat at Wanda Metropolitano.
However, Liverpool only need four more wins to clinch the title, and Pennant doesn’t believe they will “lose sleep” over a shock result with domestic silverware still well within their grasp.
“It’s more the media and the public wanting to see if they can beat the Invincibles,” the ex-Liverpool winger told Talksport. “They’re not going out there thinking, ‘let’s not lose this so we can get this record’.
“They’re not really worried about records; they’re worried about lifting this Premier League trophy, which they haven’t done for 30 years.
“They’re not going to lose sleep over it. Obviously they’re going to be annoyed about not taking another three points and not closing the Premier League off earlier, but they’ll have to pick themselves up and go again.”
Pennant added on how Liverpool are “finding it difficult” to break down teams content to sit back in numbers and break quickly: “Liverpool just weren’t at the races, but they’re allowed to lose a game.
“When I’m watching Liverpool now and the way teams play against them, I’m starting to get frustrated for them.
“They’re not coming up against a four-man defence and trying to break them down, they’re coming up against ten players almost in the box. It’s frustrating for them, so they have to attack and they’re showing vulnerability on the counter-attack.
“What Watford did was a great game plan and it worked wonders, and it was the same at Atletico Madrid.
“Liverpool are finding it difficult against teams because they are being so compact with every man behind the ball because of how powerful Liverpool are going forward.”
The Reds are currently preparing for an FA Cup fifth-round meeting with Chelsea on Tuesday, as they continue to fight on three trophy fronts.
Liverpool have already won the Super Cup and Club World Cup this season, and Pennant is adamant that his old club still have a formidable “aura” about them despite a recent dip in form.
“That shows they’re still feared,” he said. “They’ve just lost one game, they’re 22 points clear, they’re going to win the league and they’re the best team in the world, they’ve won the Club World Cup, so they are feared.
“So regardless of them losing to Watford, teams will still fear them and they’ll still have that aura about them when they come to play Liverpool.”
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