Paul Merson believes Liverpool‘s early elimination from the FA Cup could influence their season in an unexpectedly positive way.
The Reds were beaten 2-1 by a spirited Wolverhampton Wanderer side at Molineux on Monday night. The hosts, who looked to be on the front foot from the very beginning, opened the scoring in the first half after a defensive howler from James Milner, which allowed forward Raul Jimenez to slot the ball past a helpless Simon Mignolet.
Klopp’s men equalised through Divock Origi’s well-taken goal in the second half but were ultimately left undone by a piece of brilliance by Ruben Neves, who beat the Liverpool stopper from an outside-the-box effort to win his team the tie.
The defeat at Wolverhampton means Liverpool are only fighting for the Premier League and the Champions League, and former Arsenal man, Paul Merson, feels the upset at Molineux gives them a chance to focus on trophies that count.
“I just think it’s another game out the way,” he said on The Verdict, as quoted by Express.
“They’ve got a two-week break after playing a couple more league games and recharge their batteries.”
“They’re in an unbelievable position to make history, they haven’t won the league in 29 years. Don’t get carried away and start thinking about the double, concentrate on the league.”
Liverpool have failed to progress past the 4th round of the FA Cup since Jürgen Klopp took charge:
2015/16: 4th round
2016/17: 4th round
2017/18: 4th round
2018/19: 3rd round
The earliest exit yet. pic.twitter.com/VLxn1Wt3Gn
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 7, 2019
“As long as it doesn’t affect the players’ thinking, two defeats on the trot, but they’ve just been beaten by Man City, one of the best teams in the world, and made nine changes tonight. For me, it could be the best thing that happened to them,” he concluded.