Liverpool drew 0-0 with Real Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday evening, sending them out of the UEFA Champions League. It was a frustrating evening for everyone in Red.
We go again
Jurgen Klopp made a couple of notable choices with his starting XI. Diogo Jota was left on the bench in place of Sadio Mane – an interesting one, given their respective form.
More notable, though, he picked James Milner over Thiago. That one left fans confused.
It appears the boss wanted to repeat last week’s tactic with the midfield, though. He’s gone for high-energy and work-rate over anything else – and you would pick Milner for that.
Naby Keita got the nod last time but with disastrous consequences. Klopp clearly thinks he was on the right track but needed different personnel.
Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now
We saw the high-press in action, just as Klopp wanted. And Liverpool looked much better for it.
They pushed Real hard, forcing them back in ways they didn’t last week. It’s such a shame they were unable to do so in Madrid. It could have changed the game completely.
Klopp went with the high-risk formation around the hour mark. Off went Ozan Kabak and James Milner, on came Thiago and Diogo Jota.
Fabinho went into the back four, with Gini Wijnaldum and Thiago sitting as a two. That meant the Reds had four forwards on the pitch at once.
It’s something we wanted to see and Klopp went for it. It’s plainly a strategy he’s at least semi-comfortable with. We expect to see more of it.
Take your chances
We’ve seen it over and over again since the turn of the year – Liverpool can’t make things happen in the final third. They actually played well here but the forwards just couldn’t make the magic happen.
This shouldn’t have finished Liverpool 0-0 Real Madrid – there were far too many decent chances for that.
A very frustrating performance, then. Big questions will be asked of the attacking talents.
Too little, too late
Liverpool qualify with a better first-leg. The two-goal deficit allowed Real to defend very, very deep and make attacking a secondary aim.
They got too many players in the box to shut down Liverpool at Anfield – that was a result of the first-leg.
Liverpool paid their price for getting it so wrong in Madrid, then. It’s a tough one to take.