Player ratings: Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liverpool

Klopp-on-touchline-Red-Star-vs-Liverpool
What an absolute shambles. Anyone want to take this player ratings? ...tumbleweed... No? Didn’t think so. Sigh... let’s get this over with.

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Alisson (4.5) -His worst performance in a Liverpool shirt. Made one decent save but should have saved the second goal, I thought he should have come for a couple of crosses and what was he doing with that pass to Virgil. Played him right into trouble. I believe Alisson is a top keeper but there’s definitely some creases that need ironing out. Still glad to have him though.

TAA (5) - Was surprised he was subbed at halftime unless it was injury related. Didn't think he’d been any worse than anyone else. Probably wasn’t any better either though. Fairly nondescript first half from the youngster.

Matip (4.5) - Did nothing that’s going to give Gomez or Lovren any sleepless nights. Missed a sitter with his non-header from a Gomez throw-in in the second half. Meh.

Van Dijk (6) - Probably our best player on the night but that accolade probably could have been won by my mum if she’d been playing for us tonight. Even Virgil wasn’t at his imperious best tonight however.

Robertson (6) - Robbo tried his best as always but his final ball wasn’t as precise as usual. Still got some decent deliveries in but nobody there to get on the end of them. Scored a point higher for that bit of pressing in the second half where he chased down the Red Star player and won back possession. Reminded me why I shamelessly love him so much.

Wijnaldum (4.5) - Why in the name of dog didn’t he bring him down? Just bring him down for god sake!! Was anyone else screaming that in the build up to the second goal? Put a shift in as always but one to forget for Gini.

Milner (4.5) - As bad a game as I can remember Milner having. Gave away a horrendously sloppy pass for their second goal and was sloppy with his passing all night. Did he not also break his nose at the weekend? Milner could do with a rest.

Lallana (4) - Awful. Looks so off the pace and isn’t on the same wavelength as the rest of the team. Every time he tries to play a final ball you just know it’s not finding it’s target and every time he shoots you just know he isn’t going to score. I’ll be amazed if he’s still with us next season.

Salah (4.5) - When Salah doesn’t score he’s an absolute liability. His passing... I think if you asked him to pass the salt at dinner, he’d manage to make a mess of it. I can’t think of any other player at elite level who so regularly misplaces three yard passes. Basically, if you want possession against Liverpool at the moment, allow Salah to receive the ball and possession shall be immediately surrendered.

Sturridge (4) - Missed an open goal from six yards, made the wrong decision every time he received the ball. Rightly hooked at halftime.

Mane (5) - Mane had the beating of Red Star’s right back all through the first half before Klopp inexplicably changed wings at halftime. I could normally understand that switch but when Mane was so successful against his man in the first half, I can’t understand why we changed what looked our only attacking outlet. Missed a sitter as well.

Subs:

Gomez (5) - First thing he did after coming on at halftime was sloppily surrender possession, leading to a Red Star chance. Other than that, didn’t do anything wrong but not much of an impact either. Not that I was expecting one. Strange substitution unless Trent suffered a knock.

Firmino (5) - More of the same from Bobby. Trying hard but looks a shadow of last season’s player.

Origi (5) - Difficult game to make his first appearance in god knows how long. Couldn’t make an impact.

Ok, I’m saying it. I’m worried. That’s three wins in our last nine games and we look a shadow of ourselves. Once again, midfield utterly bereft of quality but I don’t blame the midfield, I blame Klopp. That midfield wasn’t built for slow, patient build up, it was built to press, outwork you and cough up possession to our forwards.

I think we also have to admit to ourselves that despite last season’s numbers, our forwards actually aren’t very clinical. We scored so many goals last season because we created an absolute glut of chances but with this new, exasperating style of play, we don’t create nearly the same number of chances and our forwards are now showing the wastefulness they got away with last season.

I have to say as well, what exactly are we working on in training? Being rubbish to watch? Parking the bus? We’re definitely not working on passing and finishing anyway, that’s for sure as it’s absolutely woeful throughout the whole team.

Shaqiri has to start from now on, playing a 4-2-3-1 for me. We’ve looked much more threatening in attack playing that way and Klopp surely has to recognise that soon. Either that, or here’s a novel idea... Revert back to last season’s thrilling style of play, that better suits our players and took us so close to glory before we ran out of legs and numbers. Our increased squad depth should have negated that issue so I just don’t understand the massive tactical shift.

Whatever we do moving forward, something has to change. We’ve lost our stranglehold on our champions league group and City have now edged ahead in the league. This City side are not going to allow for a drop in form for a month or two, we need to get it sorted before this season becomes yet another false dawn.
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