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07 Apr 2021 09:16:15
This will sound a bit knee-jerk so I'll explain it. Last night was, I think, one of the worst performances I can remember from us in the last three years. Ok, we came back a bit in the second half but a football match is 90 minutes long.

Let me explain. I'm not talking about the innumerable mis-placed passes, many of which went to the opposition, some of which didn't even stay on the pitch. I'm not talking about the individual errors, including the really obvious ones (Trent), and the less glaring ones (Alisson for the final goal) . I'm not talking about Mane constantly running into situations with the ball and getting dispossessed.

What really got me agitated last night was the way we just stood around looking at the play. I couldn't believe it. It was so bad. It's unforgiveable at that level of football, at any level of professional football. It is so unlike Liverpool that I actually questioned at one point whether Klopp had ordered the team to do it (which obviously he wouldn't have done) . Time after time after time, a Liverpool player had the ball and not one single player moved off the ball, showed for a pass or put in the effort to run into a space. As a result, we ended up knocking more aimless long balls and channel balls or balls into touch. I can't recall seeing such a poor example of effort to find space when in possession from a Liverpool team, or any top flight team. You could pick out anybody, with the possible exception of Fabinho and Salah, who is always looking to receive the ball. Worst offender was probably Wijnaldum. I'm not suggesting anybody would want to spend their time watching any of the match again but in the first half if you watched Wijnaldum, he kept getting the ball, giving it square or back and then, quite literally, just standing there watching. It was like watching village football where players just don't move off the ball and show for passes because they're not fit enough and by the time they've chased down to win back possession and then given a pass, they need to stand for ten seconds to get their breath back.

That really got to me last night. Mistakes happen, loss of form happens but are our players really so burnt out now that they haven't got the energy to do the basics of running off the ball to find space?

Agree11 Disagree0

07 Apr 2021 09:22:06
RR, brilliant post. I fully agree with everything you have said. Did we show them too much respect? I have no idea whatsoever. We are lucky we are just within a chance in the tie itself cos another day, that tie is over in the first half alone. Klopp wet the bed as well in his team selection as I have no idea what Naby was doing there. Thiago would have started cos he was in good form BUT I do not know what Klopp and the team saw that warranted Naby's start esp. since we know he is woeful off the ball and out of possession. I don't know, man. Baffling, indeed.

07 Apr 2021 09:33:42
RR you will probably find mate that we were just as bad against, Brighton, Southampton, Burnley, Newcastle, West Brom and Fulham. Its just they are very poor going forward so they never punished us. We played the same agaisnt Villa, Everton, Leicester and City and they all punished us. We can say it was last nights performance but if we are honest last night was not a one off for this season or since we came out of the first lockdown.

07 Apr 2021 09:40:21
It's a real low point for the team. Not because we lost. A 3-1 loss away in the Champions League isn't even that bad of a result. We've seen many teams come back from far worse deficits. The reason why it is so low is because 3-1 flattered us. If we'd lost 6-0 it would've been a fairer reflection of how the game panned out.

Alisson, Phillips and Kabak were positionally at sea multiple times. Trent and Robbo looked caught in two minds whether to sit back to defend or try and take Vinicius and Asensio back with them. They both ended up doing neither effectively. Fabinho was basically playing in a 1 man midfield until Thiago came on. Keita and Wijnaldum were so bad I wouldn't be able to look them in the eye if i were Klopp. Mane looked like Bambi on ice. Jota looked like Bambi on ketamine. Salah looked like someone trying too hard to do everything alone because nobody else showed up.

Salah, Thiago and Fabinho are the only players who can come away with any shred of dignity to be honest.

07 Apr 2021 09:58:23
I maybe need to watch the game again because my impression was that Gini wasn’t that bad. He showed good energy. Poor overall granted, but not the prime culprit everyone has pointed out?
Fabinho got completely marked out of the match as an offensive out ball from the defence, and swamped or bypassed as the defensive shield.
As said, Keita just can’t play the up and down intense role of a 3, he wants to be an AM. Thiago was an improvement on him but him and Fabinho together are not mobile and Madrid were still able to move around them.
Madrid did not really press the two Liverpool CBs, they let them have the ball, knowing their distribution skill is limited.
The two CBs, Phillips especially, were shown up for what they are, the 4th and 5th choices effectively.
I could go on, but there’s little point. We were outclassed. But there’s another game and another chance, surely can’t be that bad again.

07 Apr 2021 10:02:55
I can't live with the 3rd goal we conceded of throw in. That cannot happen, just cannot. Just shows where we are at. Its the most basic thing don't let the player turn on a throw in and yet whole defense was 2 yards off benzema. Its basic considering we have a coach for throw ins, such a showing by players is not acceptable. It shows lack of Application and basic understanding of game. At 2-1 we were doing allright could have another and a night to forget could have been better. But not to be.
Klopp can't change much with this bunch. It will be better next season when key players are back.
We won't be turing this around at anfield considering our form there so its going to be a very rough season. 60 points 6th or 7th and no CL next season.
Then euros and players won't again get a preseason and C.V. is still there but hopefully players recover and have a better next season.
Also keita out.

07 Apr 2021 10:04:40
MK pretty much just echoed my post that wasn’t posted for some reason.

Phillips and Kabak were poor positionally and really highlighted the need for another top class CB. I would keep Phillips as 4th choice as at least he puts his body on the line and is good in the air. Kabak I would get well rid, just not good enough defensively to be relied on to win anything.

Robbo and Trent were shocking. Robbo especially just running around like a headless chicken getting caught way out of position exposing the CBs even more than needed. I will be happy if Trent doesn’t go to the Euros, people forget he is still young. Think he could do with a break this summer.

Mane had a stinker. He’s been bad all year but we really needed him to step up yesterday and he should have given the lad at RB for real nightmares given he’s a winger naturally. Mane really looks like he’s lost a yard this season and his end product is shocking. Start of this season I would have said to sell Salah and keep Mane but now I would defs get rid of Mane. At least Salah gives 100% - Mane was walking around so often last night and was more focused on trying to sulk and feeling hard done by than playing football.

07 Apr 2021 10:07:08
Salah, Thiago Fabs shred of dignity no chance. No one deserves any credit at all. Am sure on the third goal Modric walked passed at least one of these players. Salah gave the ball way nearly everyone he got it. Madrid cut us open at will we never got close to their midfield how can 2 or our midfield get any credit?

07 Apr 2021 10:09:50
It was a truly terrible performance. The points that baffled me are. Why we are starting so slowly! When we start slow we seem to be stuck at that pace.
What has happened to Mane. He has gone from world class to diving at ever chance. Yes we know he’s had long C.V. but he doesn’t what to beat anyone with pace he just runs at them and falls over.

The worse one would be keita why oh why did he start infront of Thiago, Jones, ox. The bloke is not cut out for our team end of and this is one of klopps big mistakes at Liverpool. Just when we need the champions league the most he fields keita and the tie is probably over.

07 Apr 2021 10:30:34
The lack of legs, effort and quality was hard to take.
I'm not surprised though because I've not been swayed by beating Wolves and Arsenal.
I can't see us finishing top four or winning the CL so we need the season to end to freshen up what we've got and improve on some of what we've got.

07 Apr 2021 10:39:23
It was all just too slow and tepid. Salah was the only player in red, playing with any urgency. Everyone else was taking 3 or 4 touches. Nearly everyone was going sideways and backwards, which invited Real Madrid onto us, and then the quality to play out of their press was just lacking. Every player without exception was guilty of sloppy passes in the build up phase.

What hurt most was seeing how hardly anybody seemed prepared to run at a makeshift Madrid defence and commit players. You don't break down a deep defence by going side to side in slow motion, waiting for a positional error. You need to fizz passes into the feet of people around the edge of the box. Test Salah, Jota and Mane to keep it in tight spaces. Force them to try something. Or if not, carry the ball yourself and try and draw people out of position to close you down. If you are going to move it sideways, do it with 1 or 2 touches and zip it across in one 20 yard pass so the defence has no time to shift, not with four 5 yard passes. There was no ingenuity shown last night.

Almost as bad though, was the lack of runs in behind. Gini needs to be breaking forward more. Jota needed to put them on the back foot. Mane needed to make some of those excellent diagonal runs across the defence. Fabinho and Thiago have the quality to pick people out but not if they're stood next to a player 4 inches taller than them with their arm in the air.

There is a real lack of confidence in this team right now. A few sloppy moments in the first 5 minutes seemed to create a nervousness through our whole team, and they crumbled. The mentality monsters of last season seem like a very distant memory right now.

All of that aside though, how do we excuse the lack of effort? Salah was the only player pressing last night. I felt sorry for him. You even heard him shout "go on Sadio" several times, but Mane looked like he was only pressing half heartedly at times. Jota was so lackadaisical you couldn't accuse him of playing with half a heart. Keita and Wijnaldum though, i mean what can you say anymore about those two this season? I genuinely don't think either deserves to play for the club again. Last night was the straw that broke the camels back for me. Both their attitudes stink.

I don't know where Klopp starts with dissecting that for the second leg. The only real good news is, that Salah burying our only scrappy chance of the night means we're somehow still in the tie.

07 Apr 2021 10:46:21
That worries me the most the confidence is shot. As you say a bad opening 5 minutes and we crumbled, mentality mouses.

07 Apr 2021 10:58:23
MK, I agree with most of what you say BUT I do not think it was due to a lack of confidence thing for some. For others like Sadio? Yes, definitely. Gini and Keita were simply poor, end of. I don't know if the occasion was too big for Jota cos that hunger he shows to run at people was simply not there. Now in the press, it was a shambles all across the board.

The worst thing was that even the simple passes were being made either to the opposition or were under/ over hit which to me is a complete lack of focus and attention to detail, not a lack of confidence, IMO. We were never in control of that game at any point cos we could not keep the ball even when we had it. I don't know where we go from here regarding the 2nd leg. Maybe with time, things will be come clearer.

07 Apr 2021 15:33:55
I was stunned with their 3rd goal, our players just stood there watching as the ball was passed around them.
It was at that moment that I realised we are getting nothing from this season and before this I was convinced that we would at least get 4th.
The lack of effort, desire and ambition scared me. At this time I don't think that Jurgen can turn these players around, this season or next. The spirit is gone.

07 Apr 2021 15:33:55
I was stunned with their 3rd goal, our players just stood there watching as the ball was passed around them.
It was at that moment that I realised we are getting nothing from this season and before this I was convinced that we would at least get 4th.
The lack of effort, desire and ambition scared me. At this time I don't think that Jurgen can turn these players around, this season or next. The spirit is gone.

07 Apr 2021 16:06:32
If anyone thinks a summer break is going to suddenly make things better, think again. Euros, the Olympics, Man City, Man United and Chelsea going on another spending frenzy and AFCON, next season is going to be just as hard.

08 Apr 2021 00:15:08
People knocking kabak, yet they forget he is still very young, only 21 years old, and still has a lot to learn. Also why are people talking as if they didn’t know that our defence is out weak point and that Real Madrid wouldn’t target two young and inexperienced centre backs with their world class forwards? It was always going to be a mismatch. If you are going to start talking about getting rid of players then you might as well get rid of most of the squad because they have been plop since returning to play after the first lockdown. Remember, Trent has had a shocker all season and he has not defensive awareness against Real Madrid but I don’t see anyone saying he should be got rid of. I’ve been critical of certain players this season but you cannot single out certain players to be gotten rid of, when most of the team sucks at the moment!



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