Friday, 16 November, 2018

Have Liverpool lost their bite in midfield at the moment?

Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between S.S.C. Napoli and Liverpool FC at Stadio San Paolo Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Red Star Belgrade v Liverpool FC
Cassandra Castillo | 08 November, 2018, 07:29

Liverpool's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage were dealt a blow as Red Star Belgrade claimed a shock 2-0 win at the Rajko Mitic Stadium. It was reported that a dispute between Buvač and Klopp was the reason behind his decision to leave, but it remains unclear.

A few minutes later El Fardou Ben Nabouhane, Red Star's top scorer, brought a fine save out of Alisson with a powerful drive from long distance. A win at Paris Saint-Germain this month combined with a positive result for Napoli at home to Red Star would secure a place in the knockout phase for last season's beaten finalists. The other two were Manchester United in 2005/06 who despite finishing second, were very much in a slump as they transitioned from the Roy Keane era towards a younger squad, and Chelsea in 2012/13, who having inexplicably won the Champions League the previous year under Roberto Di Matteo were in a state of drift domestically.

Liverpool ideally need to get a result with a tricky tie away in the French capital to come next before a potential qualification decider at home against Napoli at the end of the group.

Klopp's decision to introduce Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Joël Matip into the starting lineup against Red Star arguably contributed to the disjointed display but Robertson denies Liverpool's focus has wavered outside the Premier League. Four points from their last two games would be enough to guarantee the Reds' progress to the last 16.

RED STAR: Borjan 7, Stojkovic 7, Savic 8, Degenek 8, Rodic 8, Srnic 7, Krsticic 7, Jovancic 7, Nabouhane 7, Marin 8, Pavkov 8.

More news: FA appeals against decision to clear Mourinho of foul language charge

Liverpool had a lucky escape at the start of the second period - the referee failing to award Red Star a penalty when a shot struck the arm of James Milner. They have the three points, we have nothing.

"We didn't start well enough and that showed with them getting the two goals", Milner added. They are now huge games for the rest of Liverpool's season.

"We have to make sure it doesn't happen again".

"We need to win our games, it's on our shoulders.it's in our hands but we will have to play better than we did tonight".

The visitors began to mount some real pressure on the Red Star goal during the final exchanges, but they were unable to carve out anything of note in front of goal.

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