Liverpool led the Premier League fair play chart under Jurgen Klopp, on five different occasions. This season seems to be a huge contrast to that record as the club have become a subject of debate regarding who might receive the next red card for Liverpool.
The Reds had only received four red cards in 178 Premier League games before the start of this season. However, in their first eight games of the current season, they have already accumulated four red cards, marking a significant shift in their disciplinary record.
The season has witnessed a notable increase in high-profile incidents involving Liverpool, leading to these red card situations.
The players who received red cards this season include Alexis Mac Allister, Virgil van Dijk, Curtis Jones, and Diogo Jota. While Mac Allister’s ban was overturned after an appeal, the other three players will have served a combined six-game ban by the time Jones returns to domestic action in November. This season’s red card count for Liverpool has already exceeded the total from the previous four years combined.
The occurrence of four red cards in the opening eight games of the season is a significant change in fortunes for Liverpool. To find a similar number of red cards, you’d need to look back to 2019 when players like Darwin Nunez (2022), Andy Robertson (2021), Alisson (2019), and James Milner (2019) received red cards.
This new trend is certainly surprising and marks a stark shift in the team’s disciplinary record. Liverpool have now spent 192 minutes this season with fewer than 11 players on the pitch, highlighting the impact of these red cards on their matches.
Liverpool currently lead the Premier League with the most minutes spent with fewer players on the pitch having played 192.41 minutes without a complete 11. This figure is more than double the number of Wolverhampton Wanderers who are second having played 70.38 minutes without a full complement of players on the pitch, according to Opta Analyst.
As teams like Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal are already positioning themselves as favorites to upset current Champions, Manchester City, receiving incessant red cards is far from what is needed to pose a title charge in the Premier League.
Despite winning two of their matches with red cards, it may not always be the case as was shown against Spurs who ran out winners after a last-minute bizarre own goal from Joel Matip.
If Liverpool are to remain the stormy force they once were, discipline would be key.