Liverpool are creaking, despite still winning: Richard Buxton
Klopp's team have yet to regain their intensity after the winter break
The closer Liverpool get to the English Premier League title, the more vulnerable they appear.
Four further wins will be enough to sate Anfield's yearning to end 30 years of hurt after the Reds overcame West Ham United 3-2 in a thrilling comeback yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Irrespective of whether it arrives at Goodison Park, the Etihad Stadium or, most likely, home soil, the Reds remain on course to etch their name into the annals of footballing immortality.
They are set to become the EPL's earliest-ever champions and obliterate the feats of their illustrious predecessors, be they Manchester City's Centurions or Arsenal's Invincibles.
They have already equalled City's record of 18 straight top-flight wins, and are just five matches away from matching Arsenal's feat of 49 EPL games without defeat.
But maintaining that blistering run threatens to test the Reds to their limits.
Mid-season breaks continue to serve as kryptonite for Juergen Klopp's side.
Labouring at home to a struggling Hammers side emphasised just how disruptive respite is to their rhythm.
After Georginio Wijnaldum's ninth-minute opener for the hosts, David Moyes' relegation-threatened charges turned the tables with goals by Issa Diop and Pablo Fornals.
The Hammers led for 14 minutes at a stadium where Moyes had not won in 15 previous outing - until goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski's errors.
First, he allowed Mohamed Salah's shot to creep in between his legs in the 68th minute.
Nine minutes from time, the Pole came off his line but failed to thwart Trent Alexander-Arnold, who crossed for Sadio Mane to slot home and extend the Reds' winning record.
The silver lining is that the Reds still manage to find a way to win domestically. They have clinched 13 games in the current campaign by a single goal.
But, if they are to ensure that this campaign does not fall flat, they will need more inspirational performances like Alexander-Arnold's, whose two assists against West Ham saw him reach last year's record tally of 12.
Diego Simeone's tactical masterclass in last week's 1-0 win over the Reds, in the first leg of their Champions League last- 16 encounter, has become a pathfinder which opponents of various shapes and sizes will seek to emulate.
Now, more than ever, Liverpool head into each game with a target on their back. Anfield's repeated declaration of "we shall not be moved" acts as an incentive for their rivals; the prospect of denying them a place in the history books is more valuable than three points.
Klopp has regularly bristled at the notion of his players being burdened by legacy.
He insists that the runaway leaders will instead pen individual chapters in Anfield folklore.
The current narrative speaks of the fairy-tale journey of reaching the pinnacle of both continental and global football.
Yet, that brings its own problems, owing to the German's alchemy of fusing turf with terrace.
Whenever the pressure cranks on Liverpool, a collective siege mentality kicks in.
That prism of themselves against the rest of the world led to last season's Champions League final and took Manchester City down to the wire in the most engrossing battle for domestic supremacy.
Their appetite to clinch a first league title since 1990 may not have faded, but the inability of legitimate challengers to snap at their heels has seen a dulling of their trademark intensity.
So intertwined are Klopp's players with the Kop's febrile energy that even the slightest drop-off from either party leads to a breakdown of the "holy trinity" that Bill Shankly once preached.
All factions will need to be again singing from the same hymn sheet in the coming weeks.
REDS' UPCOMING GAMES
- March 11: v A. Madrid (Home)
English Premier League
- Feb 29: v Watford (Away)
- March 7: v Bournemouth (H)
- March 16: v Everton (A)
- March 21: v Crystal Palace (H)
- April 5: v Manchester City (A)
- March 3: v Chelsea (A)