Peter Crouch expresses concerns regarding Liverpool’s upcoming Champions League clash
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Peter Crouch expresses concerns regarding Liverpool’s upcoming Champions League clash

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has expressed his fears for his former team ahead of their Champions League last-16 second-leg clash against Atletico Madrid at Anfield next week.

MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 18: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Jurgen Klopp of FC Liverpool speaks with referee Szymon Marciniak during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool FC at Wanda Metropolitano on February 18, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Crouch has drawn similar comparisons to during his inaugural season with Liverpool back in 2006 which saw their European title defence capitulate at the same stage of the competition when they were beaten 3-0 by Benfica on aggregate.

Liverpool were defending champions following their Istanbul heroics 15 years ago but trailed 1-0 from the first-leg in Lisbon. Many expected the Reds to overturn that deficit with the power of Anfield expected to get them over the line but they lost 2-0 and were dumped out at the last-16 stage.

Jurgen Klopp’s team similarly trail Diego Simeone’s side by one solitary goal ahead of the return leg at Anfield on March 11 which is set up to be a true European spectacle.

Crouch who helped inspire Liverpool to the Champions League final in 2007 was discussing his own experiences of a similar tie against Portuguese side Benfica in his Daily Mail column. 

He said: “One of my first experiences in the Champions League was a last-16 clash for Liverpool against Benfica in 2006.

“We lost a scruffy game in Portugal 1-0 and the feeling was that we would only have to turn up for the second leg to blow them away.

“I had heard all about the magic of Anfield but, on this particular occasion, the magic never worked. Benfica beat us 2-0 and our defence of the trophy we had won in Istanbul fizzled out. I recall that game as I can see similarities around next week’s visit of Atletico Madrid, who also come with a 1-0 lead.”

Liverpool, UNITED KINGDOM: Liverpool’s English forward Peter Crouch (L), flanked by his Spanish teammate Luis Garcia, reacts after being booked by referee Massimo Santis during his UEFA Champions League second leg match against Benfica at Anfield, Liverpool, England, 08 March 2006. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images)

What RTK has to say

Crouch is absolutely right and this is a scary prospect for Liverpool supporters.

Indeed, there are parallels in the two European knockout ties and the Reds are currently more vulnerable than they have ever been following three defeats in their previous four matches.

Also, Liverpool have already been dealt a gargantuan blow ahead of the tie following the news that goalkeeper Alisson Becker will miss the European bout with Adrian expected to deputise in the Brazilian’s absence.

Despite this, the calibre of Klopp’s current squad is much greater than Benitez’ European defenders back in 2006. The German manager has never lost a European knockout-tie since his arrival at Liverpool so anyone would be a fool to write the Reds off ahead of their date with destiny.

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