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'Drop': Ferdinand dissects Nat Phillips role in opening goal

Liverpool have a mountain to climb in the Champions League next week after a humbling defeat in the Spanish capital. The Reds were outclassed by Real Madrid in the first half, one which was laden with errors. Rio Ferdinand has dissected how Nat Phillips could have prevented the opening goal.

Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Liverpool outplayed

The first half we saw in Madrid this week was one of the worst halves of football we’ve seen from the Reds in some time.

They just weren’t at it, it was a comedy of errors with the ball being given away cheaply all over the park.

There was no intensity off the ball or on it, allowing Real Madrid to play their game and bag a couple of cheap goals. We were lucky to go in just two goals down.

The 3-1 scoreline leaves the Reds with a sliver of hope, a 2-0 win at Anfield would be enough.

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Rio Ferdinand on Nat Phillips

We’ve had to make do with what we’ve got at the back.

The Bolton Baresi has been outstanding for us in recent months but the 24-year-old was very clearly out of his depth last night.

On BT SPort, Rio Ferdinand spoke about how Nat Phillips could’ve prevented the first goal:

“Kroos gets the ball here and he’s scanning the pitch. As a centre half you can’t stand in a line like this.

“Once this happens and you have pace around you, as a centre half you need to drop off a little bit. Five yards drop off, at the moment he can only see Benzema, he can’t see over his right shoulder where there’s Vinicius who gets in.

“He’s now got to turn 180 degrees to get round the man running. In a foot race the man turning (Phillips) can’t up to pace to catch the man running. If he drops early the ball is coming onto him.”

What RTK has to say

It was an astute piece of analysis from Rio.

Phillips is inexperienced and that was exposed during the clash with Madrid.

He wasn’t meant to be involved in games like this but we expect him to learn from his errors and come back better for the second leg.

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