Instead of making some impressive late push towards a top-six finish, Liverpool continue to find ways to stay behind and keep themselves from the necessary progress that was promised. Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho once again brought class and flair with most of their touches, but an overall sense of the lacking accuracy, combined with a weak display from Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard resulted in a score that kept them out of the European qualification zone.
With six matches left to play, including Everton and Chelsea on the fixture list, the chances to salvage at least something for Brendan Rodgers from his debut season with the team is running out. A match against West Ham, a team that hasn’t won at Anfield since 1963, should have been a chance to inch closer towards that promised land, which might also have implications in the kind of quality they might be able to keep and attract next season.
But just like under the years of Rafa Benitez, especially in the 2008-2009 season, and Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool find ways to fall out of form with weird, unexpected draws at home, seemingly coming out of nowhere. Rodgers played with his most attacking lineup, as the combination between Coutinho and Suarez continues to thrive, although this time it didn’t end with a goal. Steven Gerrard couldn’t set his aim straight on the chances he managed to come up with, acting as the trailer from behind when Jordan Henderson wasn’t up for the task.
Suarez himself? It was one of those days when his last touch was always a bit off, missing something, or someone, to help come up with the breakthrough act. Daniel Sturridge did everything wrong whenever he was near the ball. You can still wins on days like this, but not when everyone messes up each time they find themselves in the box. It seemed like some sort of general miscommunication befell the players every time they reached the West Ham box, resulting in 20 shots at goal with 12 corners, but nothing to write about when it comes to goals.
And it’s these kind of disappointments that will keep Liverpool out of Europe, eventually. Everton seem to much more consistent and less exposed to mental breakdowns and frailties, while making more of the fewer chances they get. A win in the derby (May 4) coming as part of a stretch that sees them play Chelsea (home) and at Newcastle becomes a must, or the talk of losing Luis Suarez will become something more and more resembling reality and not just speculation.