Too often it is such hard work being a Liverpool fan. Last night was one of those times. Seriously how the hell did we not win that game? I am so frustrated right now. Yes we got a point against seasoned European campaigners and yes we should progress from this group but come on! We should have won! Two vital points pissed away.
We lost 5-0 at the weekend and yet if anything, I’m more disappointed with this. Saturday was a freak show. Last night was just another example of a Liverpool side who lack that ruthlessness needed to succeed at the upper echelons of the game. It was also, of course, another glaring example of a backline that always gives the opposition hope.
Going forward, we have a team capable of beating anyone and I do mean anyone. It’s a great asset to have but if Jurgen Klopp and his squad don’t address the above two areas then our great attack will mean nothing.
Let me go deeper. Let’s start with Sevilla’s opener. All the talk is about Dejan Lovren’s mistake and it was a bad one. A regulation clearance somehow goes under his studs which allows their striker the easy tap-in. Shocking defending but he should never have been in that position anyway.
In the build up to the error, Emre Can has a chance to clear the ball. It’s a 70-30 tackle in his favour but for some inexplicable reason he waits and it becomes a 50-50. That delay results in Sevilla winning the ball and the rest as they say was history.
That one challenge or lack of it summed up Can for me last night. I think it was arrogance that led to the delay in that tackle. I believe he thinks he’s good enough and strong enough to delay and still win the ball. It’s almost showboating. This is the fifth minute of a very important Champions League tie and it’s 0-0. This ain’t the time for playing to the crowd. That’s what it felt like to me. Can appeared to strut his way through the game with nothing to show for it. I thought he was poor. No substance. He didn’t play well on Saturday either. Worrying. I was glad when he came off.
Even though they scored I wasn’t worried. We had already got at them twice and continued to do so. Wave after wave of attacks were bearing down on the Sevilla goal with Mane and Salah superb. We turned the game on its head with two goals in 10 minutes through Firmino and Salah. It was the absolute minimum that we deserved. I really thought we would score five.
We then get a penalty and this is where my point about our lack of ruthlessness kicks in. Firmino, of course, misses. If he scores it’s 3-1 and we go on to rout them. It’s not just about the penalty miss though. We had 24 shots on the night. They had 4. How did we not win?
The only time I was worried was literally two minutes before they got the equaliser. You could just feel it was coming. It’s what we do. We had so many chances and then there was a lull. I just felt we were going to rue those misses and so it proved. Their equaliser was a real sickener. It’s not the end of the world though. It’s the first of six games but there’s not many things more frustrating than throwing away points.
On the plus side it was good to see Philippe Coutinho back in the red shirt. As I’ve said before I don’t blame him for wanting to go to Barca. It’s happened, that episode is over for now. Lets just move on. I was banking on the fairytale of him scoring the winner but alas it was not to be. He did look rusty. It will take a little time before we see the real Coutinho again.
I tell you what though, we were almost on the end of a defeat. I don’t know what I would have done if Muriel had buried that chance for them right at the death. He should have scored. Thank the lord he missed.
Anyway it was yet another example of what might have been for this LIverpool side. If we can just get a little bit more savvy and play that little bit smarter, we can go a long way. The backline have to learn to concentrate for the entire 90 mins. Let’s make the opposition work for EVERY goal they score against us. We can’t keep on giving them goals on a plate.
A lot of people will be writing us off after the events of the last 4 days. Not me. I still believe in Klopp and his team. It’s still early doors. There’s more than enough time to learn from these mistakes but we have to learn fast. Burnley next at the weekend.
C’mon you Redmen!