“Sloppiness and sluggishness” – How the media reacted to Augsburg stalemate

on 19.02.2016

Following Liverpool’s goalless Europa League Round of 32 first leg against Augsburg, we round up the best media reaction from the WWK Arena stalemate.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Thursday, February 18, 2016: Liverpool and FC Augsburg players before the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The first ever meeting between the two clubs ended in a night of mixed feeling for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

The German watched his side produce a flat display and pass up an ideal chance to move into a commanding position in the tie, but also return home with a great chance of sealing qualification in Anfield’s return.

It could have been different and had Daniel Sturridge slotted home James Milner’s low cross or Kolo Toure connected with Alberto Moreno’s teasing free-kick to give the Reds what would have been an invaluable victory.

But with Simon Mignolet saving well from Alexander Esswein and Ji Dong Won hitting the Belgian’s post late on, a draw was a fair result, setting up a tense second leg just three days before the League Cup final.

Here is how the media saw the game.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Thursday, February 18, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the travelling supporters after the goal-less draw against FC Augsburg during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Article continues below

Reporters were quick to point out it was a night that didn’t go according to plan for Klopp and his side, who now face the tricky task of securing progression 72 hours before kicking off the League Cup final against Man City.

Paul Joyce of the Express wrote:

Liverpool’s hopes progressing in the Europa League did not suffer a setback as such, but neither did the plan of asking their strongest side to eke out a first-leg advantage play out as expected.

Many of those hoping to have a night off at Anfield next Thursday – just 72 hours before the Capital One Cup final with Manchester City – will find themselves needing to be stripped for duty now after a scrappy stalemate.

The Daily Mail’s Dominic King echoed the sentiment:

The ambition was for Liverpool to take care of Augsburg at the first attempt, making the second leg of their round of 32 meeting a formality next Thursday. Klopp could then rest key players before the small matter of the Capital One Cup final 72 hours later.


Klopp may have been given a giant pretzel by Augsburg, which he munched through during his press conference, but that was the only gift Liverpool received. A 0-0 draw makes things complicated in more ways than one, particularly with Manchester City looming on the horizon.

On the subject, The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe had to say:

The only manager delighted after Liverpool’s tame draw in Augsburg is Manuel Pellegrini.

Any hope Jürgen Klopp’s German homecoming would yield the kind of convincing win to make next week’s Anfield second leg a formality proved forlorn.

Article continues below

Instead, a tame goalless draw ensures there is no possibility of Liverpool’s key players being preserved for Wembley in a week’s time. While Manchester City are returning from Kiev, Liverpool’s will be attempting to secure a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

In his post-match assessment for ESPN, Steven Kelly noted:

Perhaps there was too much pre-match talk about how Liverpool could clinch the tie in this opening leg, thus being able to rest key players for an Anfield return days before their Capital One Cup final with Manchester City.

A complacent and sloppy first half display was at least improved upon in the second and a scoreless draw away from home is a decent, if unspectacular result. But still, it felt like an opportunity wasted.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Thursday, February 18, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge misses a chance against FC Augsburg during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After a disappointingly blunt attacking display days after sticking six past Aston Villa, Liverpool’s poor offensive performance came under scrutiny in post-match analysis.

Bascombe expressed on this:

After the flood at Villa Park on Sunday came the drought in the Augsburg Arena. Liverpool lacked conviction and courage in possession, so often working themselves into encouraging positions to no avail.

Daniel Sturridge squandered the most inviting chance just after half-time – the only move of slickness all night – but he could not connect from close range. Sturridge played for just over an hour and there were a couple of encouraging interplays with Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. Overall, it was disappointing.

Article continues below

 Joyce, too, had to say:

The occasion demanded Liverpool showcase their finesse in the final third, but Daniel Sturridge, starting his first back-to-back games for 11 months, was forced to feed on scraps.

Roberto Firmino did not see enough of the ball and Augsburg right-back Paul Verhaegh continually cramped Philippe Coutinho, who was stationed on the left, for space to stifle his creative spark and render him peripheral.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Thursday, February 18, 2016: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia looks dejected after missing a chance against FC Augsburg during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Guardian’s Andy Hunter added:

Liverpool did have their moments before the interval without seriously troubling Marwin Hitz in the Augsburg goal. The visitors were far too static in the final third but as their movement improved in the second half so, predictably enough, did their threat.

As per the Irish Examiner, Carl Markham noted:

Article continues below

Liverpool never really threatened at the other end with Roberto Firmino, Sturridge and Jordan Henderson‘s weak efforts all failing to test goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.


Augsburg are just one point above the Bundesliga’s relegation zone and their limitations – and intent – were quite apparent but Liverpool struggled to break them down.

However, King focussed on the home side’s hardworking display as they proved more than a match for Klopp’s team:

Augsburg’s determination to slow the pace of the game down left Liverpool frustrated on a bitterly cold night and the only other chances they had before the interval were a shot from Jordan Henderson from 25 yards and a scuttling effort from Sturridge, both of which Hitz gathered easily.

But this was not just a defensive performance from a side that are currently 14th in the Bundesliga and only a point above the relegation zone; they made Liverpool’s defenders work and even shrugged off the disappointment of losing main striker Raul Bobadilla to an early injury.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Thursday, February 18, 2016: Liverpool's Emre Can applauds the travelling supporters after the goal-less draw against FC Augsburg during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A lack of creativity and execution from Liverpool’s lacklustre midfield – not for the first time – also drew criticism, as those in support did little to help spark the blunt attack to life.

On this Bascombe said:

Sloppiness and sluggishness on the ball undermined hopes that Liverpool’s attacking trio would again wreak havoc. Too often Sturridge and Firmino’s movement created openings that demanded a penetrating pass, only for midfielders to select the safer option as Augsburg retreated.

Joyce noted:

As a consequence, Liverpool’s limitations were exposed with neither Jordan Henderson nor Emre Can able to exert enough control in midfield during an opening half high on perspiration but low on inspiration.

And The Mirror’s David Maddock focussed on a flat night from Emre Can in particular in this regard:

The German midfielder has a big reputation in his homeland, and is already a full international and also fully established in the Germany squad

But there are still question marks about his consistency in delivering on what is an obvious talent.

He can pass with incision, and he can run from the middle too, but we don’t yet see those qualities anywhere near often enough.

Liverpool certainly have it all to do at Anfield next week.



Fans Are Reading

More LFC news, opinion & videos

Fan Comments

Comments are retrospectively moderated. Some could be subject to delays before publication. They must obey the comment policy. Comments load below.

Please only discuss the article above. General chat can be made on our forums at forums.thisisanfield.com


    • upfront the spark is needed too, making it even harder for the mids to shine. Studges positioning was awful at times (he needs more games for sure) and not trying to break free more often. so play gets held up til shirts arrive and chances are wasted.

  1. Come on folks, if that was a European night in the 70s , 80s that was a job well done, we are not conquerers no more.

    • We were beating sides like Barcelona, Real Madrid and other elite European within the last decade. Now people are finding positives in a goalless draw against a Bundesliga bottom table outfit

        • Didn’t we lose against Marseille at home that same year? And I remember a close call with Standard in the qualifying round the same year?

          • Never been smooth sailing has it.. always one major win followed by a confusing struggle…

          • Hah, this time I did understand the confusing struggle. They made it very compact and pressed commendable so we couldn’t find a way through. And when we did we didn’t convert.

    • Wouldn’t a European night in the 70s and 80s mean that we’d be facing that country’s league winner from last season? Little perspective needed here…we were facing Augsburg, not Bayern Munich yesterday.

  2. Might have to drop Coutinho deeper to revive midfield. We could have done with a fit Allen yesterday. Overall, energy and commitment levels were nowhere near where they needed to be. I was hoping for 2 away goals to ease some of the pressure ahead of the home game which is so close in time to the CoC final. Until central defence is sorted and Mignolet stops gifting attackers 2nd and 3rd attempts at goal from point-blank range, the attack will need to provide a goals cushion.

    • We have to move Couti in the center behind the striker.. For 4-4-2 we needed good wingers, Couti is not a winger..

    • I think at least initially it’ll be Can to miss out. He’s a bit inconsistent. Hendo was far from perfect, but is a dependable option.

  3. If Sturridge and Origi simply connect well to the cross and it’s 2-0 suddenly headlines are “Dominated performance. A rare opportunity aside, they never looked like a threat.”

    Now it’s as if we lost with 2 or 3 goals. Such fickle.

    • You are right we should have won the tie but it was still a boring game, definite cure for insomnia. Midfield of Can Henderson and Milner is fine against stronger teams but lacks the creative spark against weaker ones and lacks pace.

      • Nah, they packed it tight and stuffed their midfield and central defense. Our center backs weren’t interested to add numbers in midfield, Klopp wasn’t interested to add numbers to win midfield. It’s why both Hendo and Can had to drop so deep to get the ball time and again. Took out the urgency of any play.

        Still 3 100% chances and 3 good goalscoring opportunities vs. them having 2 isn’t bad.

    • Ridiculous. The reporters are simply stating what they saw in the match. If that were the report with the goal, then that would be positive hyperbole but this is an honest assessment on their part.

      • What is the fuss about?, a 6 nill win against Villa and everyone thought we were back, what nonsense, this team has been more all season with a few good wins here and there, do these people expected a turn around for the rest of the season, with these average players, apart from Sturridge they are all average, from the Captain down, and the sooner people realised this, the less disappointed you all will be.

        • What is the fuss about? Perhaps it’s about us finally having our “best” team together with Sturridge Couts and Firmino in attack but still looking blunt all the way through? Perhaps it’s the expectations from fans that atleast now, in the second half of the season, we wouldn’t be seeing disjointed performances of this nature? We weren’t completing passes or putting any type of sustained pressure. Realistically, we enjoyed a continued spell of about 10-15 minutes a the start of second half in our attacking play, and that was that. So yeah, it comes down to the lofty expectations and how the narrative was set from everyone that we were the favorites to win this tie but they ended up with the better chances.

          • But remember Abyss is their second start together for a long time now, so they both needs more time.

          • It’s the service to our front men I was also disappointed with…our play from the back was too devoid of incision.

          • but at least your, and mine, new found fondness of Milly was backed up. he may just bring the potatoes to the meal but give it some gravy and it tastes good. ;)

          • Hehe definitely. I liked Milly’s play in the second half…he was proving to be a constant threat on the flanks…to that I’ll atleast salute. Being an important part of our most dangerous phase of play.

      • Onyx is using the what if argument, well what if the Korean player’s shot bounced off the post into the goal or the Augsburg player missing a sitter off that high cross, momentum would have swung in their favor. What was even more disappointing was them troubling our defense even with their main striker out.

        • Why wouldn’t they trouble us,or our goal… It’s that sort of arrogance that leads to displays like that.

        • Then, according to the British Media, Klopp should be sacked and FSG would’ve held a panic conference call in the middle of the night.

          • That´s how the media seems to work. They make you big, they make you lose everything. If LFC win, Klopp is the greatest, if they los all of them have to get rid of.

        • This is not fickle though and I think you’re missing the point. A draw only tells a part of the story. Imagine if Augsburg produced 3 high quality goals from their play and we still managed to equalize on our part. That would be a different scenario and hence a different outlook to the same result.

          If a result tells you everything you need to know about the game, then why bother even reading any of this stuff?

          I think you’re misusing the context of fickle here…not saying English media isn’t, but it isn’t on this instance…everything they’re saying is an honest assessment of the match and one that I felt as well.

          • I think this time you’re missing my point mate. Play this game ten times and you’ll win 7, draw 2 and lose 1. There was no disjointed game. There was a dominant performance, resulting in 6 shots on target and a few very good moments but in the end we couldn’t convert. That’s what happened. That’s the game the Dutch, the Belgian, me and even the German media reported.

            Basically: Liverpool were the better team, had the better chances and unlucky not to win. Augsburg withstood and with some luck they would’ve scored.

            So they might have seen it different then the rest of the world. But that would be a bit odd.

          • We’re clearly watching different matches in that case in terms of what we saw. IMO based on the balance of play, this game played 10 times, we’d win 2-3 times at best, there’d be a draw 2-3 other times and the rest of it belongs to Augsburg…that’s how I saw it. But let’s just agree to disagree in that case. Maybe I’m being hyperbolic as well with the 10 game bit but no chance that would be a win 7 times out of 10…the chances were simply too far and few in between. As the reporter above suggested, Sturridge was feeding on scraps, so was Firmino to a good extent.

          • There’s absolutely credit for Augsburg how they did. They made it really compact and difficult for us. If you compare Villa’s operational midfield to this you can see why we couldn’t create as much. And still we did. We simply missed more then they missed, much more.

            Augsburg got away overall, we were lucky our improductivity didn’t hurt is late in the game. That’s all.

          • Poor build-up play is poor build up play…it was hardly a masterful plan or a Jose Mourinho like defense. In many ways, it’s the same narrative as the one against Carlisle United, Blackburn and Bolton from last season and tons other mediocre opposition. Ofcourse, Augsburg should be considered better than those teams but it really comes down to a lack of tempo in the team…same labored passing from one to the other, going through the motions. People talking about us being one of the favorites to win this competition, I just don’t see it. The Spanish sides, Dortmund, Napoli, they seem better suited/equipped to win this one.

          • If you are making comparisons to Villa, I think it is important to point out that Villa flat-out laid down for the latter part of the match. Augsburg fought hard the entire game.

          • Dominant performance? Augsburg had more shots on target than Liverpool.
            No disjointed game? Liverpool had a measly 59% pass completion rate.
            This was a disappointing performance highlighted by slow movement on and off the ball and sluggish passing.

          • Hahaha so feisty, picked the stats off squawka which they’ve gotten wrong comparing to other sites.

          • Wooow, check Squawka then come back to me, they’ve gotten it wrong compared to espn fc and the football app. You were right and I was wrong, does your ego need more stroking or will that do?

          • Sadly, stats rarely ever tell the whole story about the real complexion or the nuances of the game. Over-reliance on them can lead to false precedents and I feel this is one of them.

          • Stats don’t tell the whole story friend. Simple as. Thing I find annoying is when people use stats to support a notion they already have rather than coming to a conclusion on the basis of a stat, the other way round. How has the overall stats-based endeavor gone in general over the last 5 years? Remember Carroll and Downing?

          • “We had 84%”.

            What? 84% of passing the ball sideways really slowly or taking easy passes on because our midfield players are bang average.

      • isn´t he just pointing out that the media is just one twist away from a different view? in hindsight we all use the what if argument by suggesting bringing on xyz, like some here believing Benteke would have been the cure it all potion though failing in the last appearances. in hindsight it´s always easy but people forget that each game is individual and sometimes needs a pinch of luck. we didn´t have that last night but Augsburg fortunately neither. ;)

        Edit: and be nice, i like you both ;)

        • I just feel that on balance of play, they had more of the good chances than we really did. I saw us have about 2-3 good chances and them have more of those. Like I said above, at best you can call it 50-50 on the good chances balance scale. Realistically speaking I felt they had the better chances…not saying my instincts or what I saw is never wrong, but I have to trust them as I always do and the British media, regardless of their overall appearance, got it right above.

          • better in terms of more pleasing to the eye for sure, on target shots it swings in favour of LFC if i remember correctly. just shows how own emotions influence the observations…god , i love beer on the stands :D

          • +1 for beer on the stands! I’m glad you got the chance to see LFC…I loved the atmosphere in the ground!

    • What I saw was an Augsburg team giving it 110 percent out of respect for their opponents, and a Liverpool side aiming to give 70 percent perhaps knowing what they have ahead of them in the next 10 days, sadly they under shot their target by about 20 percent.

    • Agreed. I was disappointed by the first 15min or so, where I felt LFC looked a bit too uptight and nervous, but once we loosened up, I thought we put in a pretty good performance.

    • Reminded me of his performances at the back end of the great year and on a few occasions last year. He often overlooks the obvious pass while dancing around the ball like a rabid Bavarian pony.

  4. The fact that the fan’s have excepted mediocracy is more worrying that the draw!! There are no positives to yesterday’s result! We are being so far left behind by other club’s it’s a worry!! People are really hoping that Leicester City win the league (premier) (Liverpool fan’s???) I’m hoping they fall flat on they’re faces! to archive something we’ve tried and failed to for aslong as I can remember is quite frankly embarrassing !!

    I’m really hoping that Jurgen Klopp can turn thing’s around but with this squad and there attitude i can only see it getting worse! I’m not just talking about this game I’m talking about Liverpool in general. .Klopp wants year’s to sort this out but unfortunately the other club’s are not going to wait United will get moreen in and they will spend..Chelsea/city/arsenal/even the spuds with there new ground then there’s west ham. .

    I’m sorry if people think I’m being to cynical and maybe I am. but the pleasure i get when we win and the euphoria I feel when we win cups and archive things is a drug I’m not ready to give up !!

    • What’s wrong with wanting an underdog team to win?? In many ways, Liverpool are the ultimate underdog team in the league so I see no issue with those LFC supporters giving Leicester the nod.

      • How are we ultimate underdog in the league?? We sign 30+ million player’s. . Leicester winning the league just gives the other team’s more ammo to mock us!! I’m sick of failure it’s not like we don’t spend money!! If we are going to start excepting mediocracy we should just start going out like Leicester. .west ham. .Everton. .and the rest of the mid table brigade and hope to find the next marez or payat?? Still not and don’t think I ever will except we’re a spent force even if other Liverpool fan’s have!!


        Not me ill keep aiming high why not. ..

          • Not sure how many people would ever considered Liverpool as an underdog probably 1% ..but if that’s what you believe to get you through the pain of being so bad now day’s fair play!! we all have our coping mechanisms..

            I’m done with you now because if truly believe we’re underdogs over the likes of Watford Southampton and ect you are clueless and I can’t have a proper debate with statements like that cheers

          • When did I say we underdogs to Watford? Geez! Some guys read/hear only what they want , in order to support their ridiculous arguments.Give credit to where it’s due and no matter what football club you support, you have to credit Leicester. Period! Get over yourself and don’t judge LFC fans for praising them.

  5. I really think Coutinho should be pulling the strings from deeper. Our best games two years’ ago was when he was more of a midfielder than a forward. The others we have in midfield can’t open up a structured and organised defence. Hence why I think we should have Tex at least on the bench – but not sure he was included in UEFA squad list?

  6. Pretty much agree with almost everything every reporter said above…especially what Joyce said. Couts from out wide didn’t get to see enough of the ball in the right areas to really make a meaningful impact.

    Enough with the sugar-coating and excuses already…we were sh***te on the day, it’s best to accept it and move on.

    • Credit need to be given to Augsburg, irrespective of the position they are in their league, they played well at home to their capabilities, they could have won the game as well, base on our capabilities a draw was a fair result for us, because we are not playing good football all season.

  7. There is a very good reason that this display was at odds with the one we saw at Villa, and It’s not that Ausburg actually wanted to be there and play a game of football.. No, it’s much simpler than that, and well played Ausburgs staff…. They only went and put the Liverpool crest upside down on the away team dugout canopy….

  8. I rather ignore media garbage when I watch a game for myself.. No point absorbing someone else’s opinion if you forget your own…. I’d rather talk to real and overly emotional people.

  9. Emre Can had a stinker of note! Complaining with the ref , more than playing his game.Lets give Augsburg some credit for foiling our attack.

    That being said, it was a real bore to watch..I couldn’t get through the whole game it was so bad. Most Europa league games are cagey tho.

    We gonna be under pressure not to concede at home. We needed at least one away goal. Poor showing indeed!

  10. not the bestest of games regarding goals, surely more to be desired technically and definitely some unnecessary hard work to do at Anfield of which i hope the KOP will work at the same rate as the FCA fans did. we could have done our lives easier by getting a goal or two but the draw isn´t too bad given the late chances of FCA´s subs. highly entertaining on the stand though, met a couple of ex-squaddies (hilarious, great guys) and we even formed a mixed clique with some natives. so resultwise nothing really to write home about but peoplewise 9/10. for the overall experience still worth the travel.

      • “but the draw isn´t too bad given the late chances of FCA´s subs.”

        And yet you discount their chances below?

        • As I said, we were more dangerous. The situation was that we didn’t convert. So in the end you can be lucky that they didn’t either. But again, we missed much more then they did.

          • Sorry mate, let’s agree to disagree on this one. I keep saying I saw them have more of the really good chances then we did. At best, you can say it was a 50-50 battle but even that according to me is sugar-coating it. Reality was closer to about 60-40 or 70-30 in their favor on goal scoring chances alone.

          • Yeah, and I think you really need to watch it again then. I can agree on the 70-30. But I’ll side with the European reporters on this one: 70 Liverpool and 30 Augsburg.

      • Augsburg wasn´t a steep mountain to climb but a rocky one for sure, they were not wearing their BL hats on the day and really enjoyed that moment. don´t know if TV aired some of that. there was a good mood, not super-satisfying for players and fans yet still celebrating football in a good way. btw, Kolo made a lot of german fans, cheeky buggah, shame to see him retire soon, what a character ;)

  11. I would hope those who performed should be rewarded – Origi scored in the Villa game mere moments after coming on. The guy has a knack for goal, and that should be relied upon in the second leg. Not too sure about pushing another game onto Sturridge in such quick succession, so I’d say have Origi and Firmino play. Take Firmino off eventually if he isn’t contributing enough, bring Benteke on. Swap Origi for Sturridge if needed later on as well.

    Some of the youngsters should also get a chance given how well they have played of late. Brad Smith in for Moreno, Flanagan in for Clyne, Sheyi Ojo in for Ibe. I would also put Lucas in for Can, who I think needs a rest after so many games as Jurgen’s main players.

      • Checking, but I haven’t seen any updates on Smith being injured or healing after injury. It could have just been a slight knock he took the last game he played (which was a scrappy one). I would hope he’s alright if there hasn’t been any news from the club or the papers.

        I think Joe Allen though is still out with injury, ditto for Lallana.

  12. Another example of us playing to our opposition’s standard which has to be addressed, but we are now in the driving seat for the second leg

  13. Henderson,Can and Milner might as well fight for a back four position cos I just can’t see any quality of a good midfielder in these guys. Can maybe could develop into a good DM we all crave. But Henderson and Milner, no no no, summer can’t come quick enough, Grujic has a SURE starting shirt.

  14. We can talk about permormances, tactics and goal scoring as long as we want. The point is we are bad in build-up-play. Is it only me seeing whats wrong? Yesterday i counted poor first touches in build-up-play. I stopped at 70th minute, was something over 40 poor first touches. What is a poor first touch? For example Clyne. Gets a pass played, got enough space, maybe 5 yards ore more. It takes 2 seconds to control the ball. Meanwhile the opponent cleared the space, Clyne has to pass the ball back to defence. 1 second first touch made him able to pass to Firminho in that situation. Sakho: Sooo many many problems to control easiest balls. They get in trouble so many times where other teams easily pass the ball between their lines. Mignolet, never seen a goalie getting himself in trouble so many times. Passing the ball to defenders with just 5 yards or less space. They are getting in trouble and need to pass a risky one back to Migs. Yesterday 3 times. Even passing the ball is a big problem for some players, Hendo for example. Yesterday at least 10 times when he not pass a ball to his teammate but nearly shoot on him, 5-10 yards…

    You can watch that mostly on players like Sakho, Clyne, Can, Henderson, Milner, Ibe, Origi and Benteke. It is like a virus, getting to technical good players as well, e.g. Firminho. Never seen so many poor first touches when he played in Hoffenheim.

    This is just a detail, but affects huge problems all over the game. And that wasn’t just yesterday.

    • Good observation, I too cannot forgive a top side like us unable to handle / control the ball and enable a good pass thereafter.

      Too often, seen Hendo, Milner, Lallana, Can, Lucas, Moreno, Clyne give the ball away because of a poor first touch. Its worrying to see such basic skills letting us down, cue Lallana’s smirk.

      There’s no ownership when making mistakes or attempt to rectify. When I look at teams like Leicester, Spurs, City, Arsenal etc the level of focus is un-mistakeable, our bunch look clueless a lot of the time.

      • I think Lallana usually has a good first touch, then a good second touch, then a good third touch, then a fourth…oops too many touches the ball is lost

        BTW, I am one of the few here who thinks Lallana can be improved and utilized to our advantage

        • I think Klopp believes Lallana can improve as well and therefore persevered with him when available at least in the EPL. My opinion is, at Southampton he played from a central advanced midfield role running into the (final 3rd) spaces and more often than not had willing runners on either flank and ahead to receive the ball and score. He had time for to make that pass and see more of the game ahead of him.

          At Liverpool he’s mostly played in the wide areas as a winger (as Klopp stated) and here he has to either make very quick and precise passes or be able to strike the ball with authority from outside the ‘D’ to score, either of which he has hardly done. Hence my argument being, a player like say Ojo who can hold the ball up well under pressure and score or make a telling assist increases our chances per game to win.

          All I’ve seen for a certainty in the last 2 seasons from Lallana whose 27 years old is the Cruyff turn that he’s done to death, much like Ibe who constantly runs down the line taking on his defender when a simple cross for a header would be the better percentage play. But Ibe’s 19 years and can still be taught new things.

          • It is hard to think that Klopp keeps on using him, just because he thinks he can improve, rather than what he brings to Klopps gameplan of workrate, pressing, and off the ball runs.

            Isn’t it more the CAM that has to make quick and precise passes, rather than the “winger”?

          • You’re right, its Lallana’s endless running that’s getting him game time over others. Reason enough to sell him when a proper replacement’s bought in the summer, as he contributes very little else.

            For the kind of wages he earns, a more effective replacement could be found easily and preferably with the ability to strike the ball well from outside the D.

  15. The announcer calling the game in my part of the world said,”How many times have we called Sturridge’s name?” Was a Benteke type performance in that he disappeared for large stretches of the game and missed an easy chance.

  16. How is there any question whether we should take our strongest side into next weeks second leg?there is no doubt that we should!!this Europa league is vital for our sesson!!play the strongest team and win the the tie,then worry about the final!!

    • Then worry about the final which will be less than 3 days away…sounds great in theory, but what if the time away will genuinely help the players to perform better for the finals?

  17. Second half was a lot better but, overall it was a horrible performance. After the mauling we gave Villa I thought we might have carried it forward. Never mind, we go again.

  18. To be honest, I don’t think it would have been better for the team to come home thinking the job is done. A draw away is a good result, despite the missed opportunities. And I’d rather have us starting the next game on the front foot instead of just trying tot sit in.

    • A nil. nil isnt a good result , if they get a score draw were out.. .the performance was dire and our home record this season is atrocious.

      • agreed, but somehow i feel we got to give our frontline of firmino, studge and couts to gel and get the goals as all three are capable of scoring and they need some time to click together, but, of course, the main question is always will studge hold out long enough on the pitch…

Leave a Reply