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Liverpool 0 Real Madrid 0 (Apr 14 2021)

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Dave Usher

 

We had a go but got what we deserved in the end. We were pathetic in the first leg and wasteful in the second. You can’t expect to beat anyone like that, never mind Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter finals. 

 

We played quite well in this game. I don’t think we were as good as a lot of people are saying we were but we were decent enough and should have won the game. I’d add a caveat to that though because Real had a two goal lead and played the game accordingly. Yes, we were on the front foot and had the most chances, but how much of that was because Madrid did what they needed to do in the first game and therefore approached this one a lot more cautiously than they would have? A lot, I’d say.

 

Nevertheless, on the balance of chances we probably should have won this game by enough goals to go through, but shite finishing has been a big problem all season so I can’t say this was unexpected. Goalscoring is a big problem for us currently.

 

Before the gave I gave us a one in ten chance of going through. After ten minutes that was up to around five or six as we started so well I was beginning to feel pretty confident. We looked like our old selves for those ten minutes. Then we began to resemble something between our old selves and this new, shite, lockdown version of us. 

 

By half time that five or six was more like a three or four. I still thought we could do it because we’d had very little trouble creating chances, but it was all about the first goal. If we got one I felt we’d get two, but sadly we couldn’t get the one.

 

Some may be encouraged by how we played but I can’t say I’ve taken anything from this. We were better than we have been for most of the season but it wasn’t anywhere near the levels we’ve set for ourselves. 

 

I do think that would have changed dramatically if we’d just converted one of those chances. That’s all it would have taken. Put one of them away and the confidence would have come flooding back and we might have steamrollered them. 

 

Instead we wasted some great opportunities and then with every chance that came along we seemed more and more hesitant. By the end, Mo was having to take about six touches before even attempting a shot. He was by far the biggest culprit and had he put that early sitter away then we’d probably be talking about another great comeback while looking forward to another semi against Chelsea.

 

 

This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article

 

Please note that the Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

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Good report Dave. I knew we weren't scoring when Gini blazed that chance over. It was abysmal finishing from a player who just doesnt score enough for us. Fuck this he scores loads for the Netherlands shit. Couldnt give a fuck what international teams do.

 

I had trouble starting my stream so missed Mo's early chance but as you say, that goes in and Real might have wobbled.

 

This sums it up though "But despite all of those issues the forward line remains the biggest source of concern and frustration for me. You know how long I’ve been saying it but the front three as a unit have gotten steadily worse each season, and now only one of them is pulling his weight. Jota has been great but we need more than just him and Mo scoring."

 

Said it before, they were all bezzie mates for the first season and a bit then the golden boot comes along with it's best friend, the green eyed monster. Suddenly it's everyone for himself and Bobby's caught in the middle.

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Good luck to the marketing department trying to shift any season 'highlights' DVDs for this season. The annoying thing is it's all been so depressing and abject that I can't even find any solace in watching old highlights from last season. I've had a documentary about last season recorded off Sky Arts since about the end of January and still not been able to find any desire to watch it. I don't want to hear a load of self-congratulatory hyperbole about last year when we've fallen so far so quickly since. It's starting to look more and more like we need a considerable rebuild rather than everything being magically better next year. Rather than the last 2 years being the start of a sustained period of being at the top, it's starting to look more and more like it was the peak of that team. Maybe occasional spells like that are the very best we can hope for these days when other teams have bottomless pits of money to spend.

 

Good report of last night. We were good, not great, but ultimately did far too many things wrong over the 2 legs to go through. As well as the finishing last night the final balls so often just seemed to be a bit off. There were a few attacks that broke down in the first half because key passes were delayed or were played a a bit behind their target and momentum was lost as a result. At our best, when everyone was full of confidence, those passes would have been played automatically and been spot on. It's hard to imagine we'd have been able to beat any of the other teams left. I watched the games between Bayern and PSG and couldn't help but think they looked light years ahead of us at the moment. It was a depressing contrast to just 2 years ago when Bayern looked almost scared of us over the 2 legs.

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That point about this season is bang on. I'm optimistic for the future, unlike under Hodge or tail-end Rafa/Ged, but the shitness of this season is less about us and more about the state of the wider game currently. Without fans it's pretty awful, VAR is seemingly another tool for referees to just control the game however they fucking want, social media is a fucking cesspit showing up the fanbase of just about every team, and we're just seeing the natural endpoint of state and oligarch owned football - clubs with no fucking business being anywhere near the European Cup final stages finally buying their way there and now competing amongst themselves for it.

 

Shame we're out, glad we made a go of it at least and didn't embarrass ourselves, no real complaints about the result. We just need to dust ourselves off and go again next season - but there's a lot of niggly shite to sort before then.

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Totally agree on this season.  I’ve felt that for a while. It’s just been a perfect storm of absolutely miserable shite of one sort or another, week after week. 

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Thought the game was gone the minute Fabinho was moved to CB?WTF was that about?Klopp has made some baffling decisions this season but that beat them all.I still thought we could claw it back previous to that but lost all hope then.

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Great report Dave totally agree with it. Last week though the whole team played badly  I think the defeat was on Klopp for starting with Keita (really hope he goes in the summer. ) I just want the season to finish. I hope the owners cough up some money.....Robbo looks dead on his feet now and he has the Euros to go as well ! We definitely need reinforcements up front too.

 

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Good report, I agree with most of that however we were never going through last night, I think if we score they would have. All hinges on top four now and as you say I don’t make us favourites either.

 

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Bang on the money, Dave.

 

Nothing to add, really.

 

I honestly think the starting linenup was good, and the subs killed us.

 

Jota for Mane, Shaq for Bobby, Thiago for Milner (10 minutes later than it was done)

 

The shape didn't need to change.

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I just want this season over now too. FSG needs to open the cheque book , bollocks to money ball.  Spend, spend spend. Strengthen properly (like we should’ve done last summer) and challenge again. 

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On the plus side, I actually thought Ox looked lively (he did so in his last cameo, as well) and, dare I say it, approaching some kind of form. And the intensity of our pressing was almost back to normal. Scant consolation, I know. 

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Can't agree with it being the most miserable season. I think you are about my age. In the early 90's we had a few under Souness that were far worse than this one. We were going nowhere fast in the league, and a league cup and fa cup win giving some false hope that we were on an upward trajectory. What really brought home that we were no longer a big club was losing in the UEFA cup to nomarks like Genoa. The team and club seemed rudderless, and I envisioned a life without trophies.

 

This is still the best I've felt about the club's stature and future since the mid 80's (when I started supporting), and this clusterfuck of a season is just that, an amassment of freak injuries, VAR, no supporters and oil clubs being oil clubs.

 

I still believe the team below wins the league this year (and next). Even if you're critical to our forward line and their their lack of clinical finishing, so much has been lost from our play with the absence of VVD/Gomez/Matip. Probably 3 of the best 6 CBs in the league. It has impcted our positional play, our pressing. You can complain that we've been slow to react etc. Would Chelsea have been dominant without Terry/Carvalho? Utd without Vidic/Ferdinand? It's impossible to establish a dominant team without a very good/elite CB partnership. We SHOULD have gotten replacements earlier in the January window, that might have saved us a few points in the league. I'm still very optimistic about next year, even if a CL quarter final exit is hard to take.

 

 

----------------------Allison-------------------

--Trent------Gomez-----VVD--------Robbo

----------------Fabinho----------------------

-------Henderson-----Thiago/Gini----------

--Salah----------Firmino------------Mane---

 

Give these guys a proper pre-season and we're rolling again...

 

2nd team:

 

-------------------Kelleher-------------------

--Neco-----Matip--Kabak/Phillips--Tsimikas

-----------------Milner------------------------

----Oxlade/Shaq--------Jones--------------

---Elliott-----------Origi----------Jota-------

 

Players in bold with legitimate claims of being 1st teamers. Some upgrading needed in our other backups, with Tsimikas and Elliott relatively fresh faces with something to prove. We know what the others can and can't do. One would think a few of these might be shipped out, but with the pandemic affecting clubs all over the world, we might be "stuck" with them for another year.

 

Anyway, I'm rambling now, but I really can't understand the doom and gloom from everyone. I'm normally a pessimistic or at least realistic character, but I don't see the obvious shake-up everyone else seem to be expecting. The want for new players when these have served us so well over the last few years really isn't in my blood I think. Would it be nice to get a super-striker in to compete with our front three (like Jota has done when fit)? Sure. Is it realistic? Probably not. 

 

We need a 4th CB with pace, as the questionmarks over the fitness of our main 3 is my only big worry in the season to come. Other than that, I think minor tweaks is needed, not major changes. This season ended with the assault on VVD and subsequently when Gomez did his patellar tendon. Avoid something major like that and we should be competing in both the league and CL (which is still realistic to get).

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7 minutes ago, Tarwater said:

On the plus side, I actually thought Ox looked lively (he did so in his last cameo, as well) and, dare I say it, approaching some kind of form. And the intensity of our pressing was almost back to normal. Scant consolation, I know. 

I see Milner get a lot of credit for this (as he should, probably his best game in 2021). Firmino (as always) is the catalyst for this though, and while other will no doubt pounce on his missed passes/layoffs, surely absolutely no-one can have watched that game and missed what impact he had on Real's play, especially first 20 mins of 1st half and 15 of the 2nd?

 

For me he is still one of the first names on the team-sheet if we continue down the path Klopp has set for us with his gegen-pressing. If Jota plays, it's for Mane (on current form he probably should). Bobby's role has never been to finish our attacks, he's a provider, allowing Mane and Salah to shine. We also need to encourage one (or more) of our midfielders to get in behind him as well as our wingers. Until we get back some pace at the back that probably won't happen though.

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I’m a glass half full kinda guy so I’m taking the positive that it’s ain’t Chelsea or City that have beaten us which would have been unbearable and to be honest I have never felt we were going to win it this season.
You can’t be shite most of the time then turn it on when needed. Yeah I know we did it in 05 but that team apart from the first half in the final could defend and make it difficult for sides 

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He's scored six goals this season and he's been providing basically fuck all. Some of his passing is beyond pathetic. That one last night when all he needed to do was roll Trent in and he hit it straight at the defender. We've seen that far too often this past 18 months or so.

 

Pressing isn't enough to justify his place but I do agree he's currently more deserving of his spot than Mané. Not that that is any kind of ringing endorsement as I'd play Shaq over Sadio too, and even Elliott or Wilson if they were still here.

 

Sadio looks like he needs a month's holiday where he isn't even allowed to think about footy.

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10 minutes ago, dave u said:

He's scored six goals this season and he's been providing basically fuck all. Some of his passing is beyond pathetic. That one last night when all he needed to do was roll Trent in and he hit it straight at the defender. We've seen that far too often this past 18 months or so.

 

Pressing isn't enough to justify his place but I do agree he's currently more deserving of his spot than Mané. Not that that is any kind of ringing endorsement as I'd play Shaq over Sadio too, and even Elliott or Wilson if they were still here.

 

Sadio looks like he needs a month's holiday where he isn't even allowed to think about footy.

I agree he's been off form for a while, but as I've said in previous posts, he's probably the player sufferiing THE most from not having our CBs there. He becomes a lot less effective when we can't press in pockets/compacting the pitch. It gets harder to justify his place in the team then, as he will never have big scoring numbers playing the way we are. Points-wise, we would probably have been better off points wise in the league sitting deep playing counter attacking football with Ox, Mane and Salah. I like that we haven't deviated from our plan though. It's something that Guardiola has taken a lot of stick for both at Barca, Bayern and City. Not having a plan B when going behind etc. I think it's much better to have a set identity and sticking to it. That will serve you best in the long run, much as it has for City this year when they've gotten their CBs back in shape (and bought a good one to add).

 

In bold, yeah, that was a shocker. He telegraphed it too, which made the pass look even worse. Still, Benzema had one just like it for Real in the 2nd half, Sometimes these things happen. It only becomes a big issue when you're not scoring/winning though.

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15 minutes ago, sir roger said:

He's been getting that since Xmas

Maybe the problem is that he's had nothing to think about except football for months. Lots of people have suffered mentally or got depressed during the lockdowns and he might be one of them. He certainly doesn't look right on the pitch - as if the whole world is on his shoulders -and it may be deeper than worry about his poor form. 

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I love Klopp, we all do, but this season he has been the biggest problem. From his relentless loyalty to certain non-performing players to the most baffling of team selections. Ridiculous substitutions. Not playing players in their best positions - he has really done the lot this year. Maybe he's also mentally fatigued after the madness of the last few seasons (with Covid thrown in for good measure) and he needs a reset. There's a lot going wrong all over the place but he's the man I'd trust most to fix it. Here's to the 21/22 season.

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1 hour ago, ZonkoVille77 said:

I love Klopp, we all do, but this season he has been the biggest problem. From his relentless loyalty to certain non-performing players to the most baffling of team selections. Ridiculous substitutions. Not playing players in their best positions - he has really done the lot this year. Maybe he's also mentally fatigued after the madness of the last few seasons (with Covid thrown in for good measure) and he needs a reset. There's a lot going wrong all over the place but he's the man I'd trust most to fix it. Here's to the 21/22 season.

Main causes for our disastrous season (where we still got to the QF stage of CL and are still favourites to get CL qualification), ranked;

 

1. Season-ending injuries to ALL three starting-caliber CBs (notice that we were top of the league until all three went down)

2. Inability to react to said injuries due to tight finances (during a pandemic, or on a whole)

3. Lack of supporters at home (a factor for all teams, but hits us more than most)

4. Other players injuries and loss of form, possibly Covid-related

5. Unprecedented run of shit decisions by VAR and refs (especially from Nov-Feb)

6. Profligacy in front of goal, Firmino and Mane being the main culprits, even if Salah misses his share too.

7. I'll be cooperative and put Klopp and some of his decisions here...

 

Fair to say I disagree a bit with your statement...

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2 hours ago, aws said:

Maybe the problem is that he's had nothing to think about except football for months. Lots of people have suffered mentally or got depressed during the lockdowns and he might be one of them. He certainly doesn't look right on the pitch - as if the whole world is on his shoulders -and it may be deeper than worry about his poor form. 

The most Liverpool thing ever to have the first Premiership player out with a broken soul.

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