Liverpool 1-1 Napoli | The good, the bad & the ugly

A rather disappointing performance last night in a game we should have won and which leaves us facing Salzburg in a game we now must at least draw in order to stay in this season's Champions League. Here are a few talking points. Starting with the better bits.

Embed from Getty Images

The Good

Dejan Lovren has turned into a world class goal scorer. After suffering an injury blow early on in the game we still drew where we could in other seasons have lost. We're still big favourites to qualify for the next stage of the competition, needing only a draw versus Salzburg to guarantee our progression. We now have a couple of easy games against minnows Brighton and Everton.

Embed from Getty Images

The bad

Dejan Lovren is a terrible defender and proved that again last night. Okay that's a mild exaggeration, he's not been playing too badly for us in Matip's absence but there's certainly a noticeable drop in quality and Dejan didn't do as well as he should have in the lead up to Napoli's goal.

Joe Gomez is a terrible defender and proved that again last night. Okay that's a mild exaggeration but without doubt we suffer a big drop in attacking prowess when Gomez is played in place of Trent A² and we saw exactly that last night. Gomez is perhaps best used as a CB.

Fabinho picked up an ankle injury which Jurgen has since expressed concern may be more serious than we're all hoping.

Many of our players looked tired. Henderson certainly one of them, VVD another. Virgil may have sustained a minor injury, we don't yet know. Robertson looks to be playing through an injury. Salah was rubbish, Firmino not much better and generally we struggled more than we ought to have. Tiredness has appeared a factor in quite a few games lately, add the injury problems and that's a worry.

Embed from Getty Images

The ugly

Napoli and their dirty cheating, fouling ways. The ref and his utter incompetence to referee a game of football including not using VAR to award us a penalty for the very clear and obvious foul on Salah. Mane for diving, again. Which way around is it by the way - Mo should have gone to ground because refs don't give the foul if you stay on your feet or Mane should stop diving because it makes refs less inclined to see/call genuine cases such as Mo's?

Embed from Getty Images

The conclusion

Not for the first time Jurgen was too respectful in his starting line-up. The other prominent time being at Old Trafford. I think we could have gone more attacking last night. Trent should have started and possibly The Ox or Shaqiri as well. We were far too slow and lethargic in our play and lacked any cutting edge. Toward the end of the first half we picked up the pace and looked much better but I think a more attack minded line-up could have helped us do that from the off.

Napoli although a good side weren't really all that and at Anfield if we'd taken it too them with much higher intensity and a more potent set up, I believe we could have put the game out of sight by half time. Mind you everything's a doddle with hindsight and no one is perfect. Jurgen gets it right nine times out of ten and perhaps without Fabinho getting injured it would have gone much better.

Don't want to finish on a negative note because last night was far from a disaster but the injury to Fabinho is a worry and also Gomez highlighted something some of us feel which is that we are still lacking squad strength in certain areas. Fullbacks being one of them. Centre back wise Lovren is just about passable but if we don't play either Robbo or T2A we suffer quite badly.

In attack we seem to have similar issues: Salah has been out of sorts lately and perhaps Shaqiri might still prove to be decent cover but we've not seen it yet.

Overall we're still sitting pretty. We should get at least the required draw versus Salzburg and we've a couple of reasonably easy EPL games next for Fabinho to recover while we still bring home the bacon. Shaqiri at least made the bench last night so looks like we have him as an option again now and with luck Matip will soon return as well. The future is still very much looking like a Red one.

Onwards and Kloppwards.

Powered by Blogger.