Mark Lawrenson dismisses criticism about Liverpool's form ahead of Southampton clash


Liverpool have dropped four points in their last two matches with uncharacteristic draws against West Brom and Newcastle United

Mark Lawrenson believes any question marks over the Reds title credentials in the wake of the two draws underlines the remarkable standards set by Klopp's side, who amassed 196 points in their last two league campaigns.

Despite having their three senior centre-backs ravished by injuries, Jurgen  Klopp's men remain top of the Premier League by three points entering the second half of the season, a remarkable feat given their problems with keeping players fit.

The Premier League defending champions were uncharacteristically held at home by Sam Allardyce's Baggies and also couldn't find the breakthrough at St James' Park three days after.

But Lawrenson has dismissed any criticism regarding the league leaders' form, he told BBC Sport: "If they were not creating chances then it would be a serious worry, but they are still making loads of them.

"If they had nicked a goal at Newcastle on Wednesday, which obviously they could and should have done, then they would have won, gone five points clear and everyone would be saying 'who is going to stop Liverpool now?'

"Instead, it is a case of 'well, they are only three points clear'. It's a fine line, that changes people's perceptions of how a team is doing when it really shouldn't do. I've spoken to Liverpool fans who tell me 'oh, we're not doing well at the moment, and we can't put away our chances'.

"My response is usually quite dry and along the lines of 'no, they are only top of the league and with half their team missing - and that front three have been terrible for the past three years, haven't they?'

"Being serious though, teams don't win the league by 15 points every year. This is what usually happens with the ebb and flow over the course of a season when you are challenging for the title - and you have to remember Liverpool are not being beaten either.

"The reaction when they do drop points just shows you the standards they have set."

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