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Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liverpool: 5 Talking Points, UEFA Champions League 2018/19

Wijnaldum was at fault for the second goal
Wijnaldum was at fault for the second goal
Parth Athale
ANALYST
Modified 07 Nov 2018, 12:37 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Liverpool travelled to Serbia to play Red Star Belgrade in their Champions League group game and were defeated 2-0 by an impressive home performance from Red Star.

Milan Pavkov opened the scoring when he headed in Marko Marin's corner. Pavkov doubled Red Star's lead before the half-hour mark when he scored a superb individual goal. Liverpool were stunned at half-time, and Klopp made changes immediately.

But they were unable to change the scoreline, despite dominating most of the second half. This was Liverpool's second away defeat in the Champions League this season and Red Star's first win overall.

The loss means Liverpool are in second place in their group while Red Star remained rooted to the bottom but closer to their opponents.

Here are the major talking points from the game in Belgrade.

#1 Liverpool's midfield was porous and weak

Jurgen Klopp deployed a midfield consisting of James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Adam Lallana, as the two Englishmen lined up as number 8's alongside a deep-lying Wijnaldum. Simply, put, this trio was shocking in Belgrade, especially in the first half.

Red Star were buoyed on by their crowd's support, and the energy was apparently too much for Liverpool. Their midfielders failed to win a single tackle in the first half, as the likes of Marko Marin and Milan Pavkov were having their way. Milner and Wijnaldum had been brilliant prior to this game, but their performances against Red Star did not reflect that at all.

The creativity on display was poor, and they were guilty of giving the ball cheaply on numerous occasions. Pavkov's second goal came because Wijnaldum surrendered possession meekly in the buildup. Klopp changed the system to a 4-2-3-1 in the second half, pushing Lallana ahead, but the change failed to deliver.

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Published 07 Nov 2018, 12:37 IST
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