A solitary roar on the final whistle from Scott Parker underlined the importance of victory for Fulham. Fulham moved level on points with Brighton courtesy of a confident first-half display, a fine first goal for the club from Mario Lemina, and a resilient defensive performance in a second half that Liverpool dominated.

Their determination to hold on to three points was typified by Joachim Andersen launching himself into a vital clearance with Sadio Mane poised to convert Andy Robertson’s cut-back in stoppage time. Mané did strike a post after his second-half introduction, and this was not the familiar recent story of Liverpool lacking creativity or intensity on home soil.

There is no charm in Anfield at the moment. The weather is heavy. One could sense the amount of sadness in the air and those stands expressing their immense grief could be palpable easily even from watching in front of the television. Liverpool have lost again at Anfield and this time it was against Fulham, who not so long ago could not even think of winning at the fortress of the Reds but thought of how many goals would they digest – this season it is completely a different story.

That is the six home losses in a row for Jurgen Klopp’s side, whose decline has been surprising and painful. Their league form, post-Christmas has seen them win just three of their 14 fixtures. They have taken just 12 points of a possible 42 in that time.

At Anfield, it is even worse. Eight games, no wins, and only one goal scored from open play since December 27.

A year ago on March 7, Liverpool beat Bournemouth to move 25 points clear at the top of the table.

Right now, they have become a mid-table side, who are thinking about Europa League next season.

Forget about featuring in the Champions League.

The Red Machine has malfunctioned and it is a big worry for the officials and fans across the globe.

How did this happen?

Since the big Virgil van Dijk went down last October Liverpool lost their leader at the back and they have never been the same. Then there were series of injuries, misfortunes, lack of form, and the failure to surface the best eleven in major matches. It is the combination of many things, but from a team like Liverpool, one expects them to stand up and fight like Real Madrid, who also faced similar situations in La Liga – but at least, they have not become a mid-table unit.

Back at Merseyside, there is a school of thought that without the fans the Red Machine is failing to function because Liverpool are one of the sides in European Club Football, who gains their mojo from the fans and hugely involves the fans in every passing minute on the pitch. The empty stadiums have hurt and when a few thousands were present during the Champions League clash against RB Leipzig, they produced a 2-0 victory.

Then one cannot deny the fact and which is the top players might have passed their best and the wheels have completed its circle and thus it is time to rebuild with fresh recruitments. Not everyone could be like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and carry on the burden and expectations of a team with the same intent.

Various theories would crop up when institutions like Liverpool start to malfunction, but in the end, those just become mere excuses for being unsuccessful.

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