Liverpool fans were left frustrated by a dismal performance against 10-man Arsenal in Thursday’s 0-0 draw, with Takumi Minamino‘s shocking miss a big talking point.
The Reds were set up as strong favourites for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final, particularly after the teamsheet revealed a near full-strength side.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were absent, along with the injured Thiago, but otherwise, it was close to the lineup that Jurgen Klopp would turn to every week in the Premier League.
Against an Arsenal squad depleted by injuries, international absences and COVID-19, Liverpool were give another boost in the first half as Granit Xhaka was sent off.
But as the Gunners sat deep and dug their heels in, the Reds were unable to find a break and drew 0-0, with Minamino squandering the best chance of the game as he skied an effort over on an open goal.
That miss stuck in many supporters’ minds as they took to social media after the game…
The all-round performance was “painful”…
Absolute drivel that, no other word for it. Miles off the pace, far too many players poor.
At least it's only the League Cup, I guess. That's all I've got.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) January 13, 2022
There’s a team that has a man advantage for over an hour and the fact you don’t know which side it is sums up the game. Liverpool so pedestrian. No creativity and so little threat. Did Ramsdale even have a save to make?
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) January 13, 2022
Does Klopp get his teams on the Stout in Jan every year? #Slow
— Graeme Kelly (@GraemeKelly1) January 13, 2022
Painful. Absolutely painful
— Jeff Goulding (@ShanklysBoys1) January 13, 2022
Some nights you get what you deserve and both teams did tonight. Xhaka did them a favour, they didn’t need to try and play like they usually do.
— Keith Salmon (@keith_salmon) January 13, 2022
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we’ve got another 90 minutes of this to watch next week.
— Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) January 13, 2022
We are going through a slump
— LFCZA (@LFCZA) January 13, 2022
Liverpool have absolutely stunk the gaff out tonight. Curtis Jones and Matip the only bright sparks #LIVARS
— Jamie Holme (@JamieHolme) January 13, 2022
Horribly blunt. Going to be a long month without Mane and Salah.
— Aaron Cutler (@aaron_cutler) January 13, 2022
But it was Minamino’s miss that hurt the most…
Oh Taki pic.twitter.com/IYYllong5X
— Biggies Malls 2.0 (@Biggies_MaIIs) January 13, 2022
Taki I love you bro, but you simply have to score that
— ?????? (@KIopptinho) January 13, 2022
Minamino just blasts the ball over the bar from an open net. Embarrassing.
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) January 13, 2022
That's an horrendous miss by Minamino.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) January 13, 2022
Nah Minamino has to score that he leans back same with his pen zero conviction
— R8 ?? (@Nabyllionaire) January 13, 2022
I'd love to know what Minamino can do that Kaide Gordon couldn't have. Might have actually learned something from the game as well.
— Garstonite (@bririley_70) January 13, 2022
Minamino had to have a good game today but other than frantic energy and one or two moments he hasn't. He scored the key equaliser last round but that covered up what was not a good performance. Had some decent matches vs weaker opposition earlier in cups but doesn't do enough.
— Red (@TaintlessRed) January 13, 2022
Minamino with a woeful miss but it would only have papered over a really, really poor performance. I think even Arsenal fans would have been bracing themselves for a two or three-goal defeat after the red. Not a disaster, but they're arguably favourites now.
— David Comerford (@Dave_Comerford) January 13, 2022
It is far from over for Liverpool, with a trip to the Emirates to come now next week and with Arsenal adding the suspended Xhaka to a long list of absentees.
But on the evidence of their performance on Thursday night, there could be concerns over the Reds’ chance of making it to Wembley – and, perhaps, taking three points from Brentford on Sunday.
Minamino is clearly a player who struggles for confidence, as he has found himself on the fringes throughout his time with the club.
Klopp’s task now is to help restore that – as the No. 18 could be needed again next week.