Goals: Mané 20' Origi 22' Wilson 56' [pen] Can 64' Fraser 76' Cook 79' Ake 90+3'
The easy way out – and I'm incredibly tempted to take it – is blame everything on Matip's absence. Two consecutive clean sheets in the league, just nine goals conceded in his 11 starts, 10W-3D in his 13 starts in all competitions, and then this happens.
Guess at a line-up: Karius Clyne Matip Lovren Milner Wijnaldum Henderson Can Mané Firmino Coutinho
Each week it feels as if it's getting easier to predict Liverpool's XI, but each week, Liverpool deploy a different XI, having gone 40 league games without starting the same lineup in consecutive matches.
That was almost exactly the same match we saw after the last international break.
Liverpool underwhelmed, especially in the first half, controlling possession but creating next to nothing. The opposition did exceptionally well to smother Liverpool's usually potent attack, and that was all the opposition looked to do.
We joke about how Liverpool might kill us all. We joke about Liverpool is Mount Everest peaks and Mariana Trench valleys; how Liverpool's attack is as good as it gets and Liverpool's defense can be as bad as it gets.
Let's get one thing clear. That was bad. The first half was, no exaggeration, as bad a half as we've seen since Klopp became manager. Liverpool should have been behind by much more than a single goal. It felt like, and was almost the scoreline of, the we're-still-talking-about-it Burnley loss.
I suppose in theory one could quite rightly point to a win and two draws as a solid, meat-and-two-veg sort of return on the opening few weeks, the sort of thing upon which vast and dashed successful empires were built in the days of yore.
Nevertheless, at the final whistle yesterday it felt not so much like we had purred through the gears so much as just about got the thing back into the garage in one piece, and with some pretty dubious coughing and spluttering sounds emanating from the engine.
Last four head-to-head: 2-0 Liverpool (h) 03.04.15 1-0 Liverpool (a) 12.26.14 4-0 Liverpool (a) 04.25.10 4-0 Liverpool (h) 10.12.09
Last match: Liverpool: 4-3 Arsenal (a) Burnley: 0-1 Swansea (h)
Referee: Lee Mason
Guess at a line-up: Mignolet Clyne Lovren Klavan Milner Can Wijnaldum Lallana Firmino Coutinho Sturridge
With Sadio Mané almost certainly out due to a slight shoulder injury, Liverpool have two options: either the same formation as at Arsenal, with Can coming into midfield and Lallana shifting into attack, or a switch to 4-2-3-1 with either Sturridge or Origi up front, Lallana-Firmino-Coutinho in the line of three, and two from Wijnaldum, Henderson, and Can in midfield.
That was a game of football. Two teams, 22 starters and six substitute, played some sport for 90 minutes. There were two goals. A couple of other things happened. And that's pretty much all there is to say about that.
It's the last game of the league campaign where neither side had much to play to for.
Guess at a line-up: Mignolet Clyne Lovren Toure Moreno Milner Can Lallana Firmino Coutinho Sturridge
It's awfully handy that the schedule worked out where the mid-week "first-team" gets Chelsea, and the shadow-side gets Watford then West Brom before the first-team comes back in for the Europa League final.
Arched eyebrows all round at kick-off, as the meanest defence of all 92 clubs in England swivelled from its traditional back-four to a terrifically trendy and fashionable three-man troupe. Eagle-eyed as ever, AANP was onto it like a flash, and did the only logical thing there is to do in such radical times – I made a list of Pros and Cons.
As I dip the nib into the ink-pot and absorb the sparrows outside gaily linking arms and tangoing the afternoon away, I can't help thinking that the mood in these parts is just about as perky as it has ever been, for this performance was right up there.
On the attack from literally the first toot, and impeccable in defence throughout (but particularly in that nerve-riddled final 20 or so), all against an all-conquering mob who generally blitz the dickens out of opponents with four or five goals per game – when have our heroes every played quite so well?
In football these days it seems you can't swing a cat without someone chirping away about new-fangled formations, or all manner of quirky statistics and allsorts. All rather complicated, what?
Enter Son, stage-left, and suddenly football was broken down to playground level again The chap simply gets his head down and sets off on his onei-man mission to dribble past as many people as possible.
A curious sport seems to have broken out amongst our heroes, whereby they amuse one another by replicating exactly all results from last season. I must confess I have come across more entertaining gags in my time, but if it means meeting Stoke away and treating that impostor with a disdainful 0-4 then I am all for it.
A new season, and to all intents and purposes the same serving of near-incessant pressure against a well-drilled defensive mob – but we at AANP Towers are nothing if not eagle-eyed, and the subtle differences being paraded to the masses yesterday did not escape detection.
There was the giant hole in the stadium for a start, which those with less keen powers of observation might simply have overlooked, or dismissed as one of those things that happens during the summer months.
Cantering past Inter in a pre-season jaunt is one thing, but the whole purpose of those warm-up jamborees was to ensure that our entire mob snapped into the agenda as soon as the referee tooted his whistle to begin 2015/16. Alas, our heroes took to the first half with all the dash and verve of a languid cat casually settling in for forty afternoon winks.
It now seems to be accepted fact that November is always a bogey month for Arsenal.
A calamitous November last season is still fresh in the memory. In the League we started with a drab 1-1 with the N17 miscreants. This was followed by a 2-1 away defeat to the Baggies (they had 1 shot on target); Le Coq was injured early on and Arteta, his replacement, put the ball in his own net before being replaced himself.
Looking ahead to our 25th season in the Premier League I'm filled with both anticipation and apprehension of what lies ahead for our team. In just a short few days our players will step on the field at the Emirates to play our 925th game in the PL to date our record is won 502, drawn 241 and lost 181 which is the 2nd best all time PL record, shown below.