Carabao Cup 2019-20: Liverpool fiasco a shame for world football
By half-time in their Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa, Liverpool were 4-0 down. Yes, the same Liverpool that have been near-invincible in the Premier League this season and, despite a few stutters, have comfortably made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League, Europe's premier competition that they are the defending champions of.
However, there's more to this story than meets the eye. Liverpool were fielding their green-horns in this bizarre knockout match that was reminiscent of absurd drama more than anything else. The Liverpool first team, the team shaped into one of the best in the world by the mercurial Jurgen Klopp, was many miles away, in another continent preparing to play in their Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey in Qatar scheduled to take place the day after.
What's worse is the fact that Aston Villa really weren't into the game either as we drifted into an even more meaningless second half that really put the game into more shame than the talented Liverpool lads who strode out to represent their club against a senior side in gallant fashion. In the end, it finished 5-0, no one seemed to care. It shouldn't have gone this way.
What's the issue
After they prevailed over Arsenal in a thriller in the last round of the same Cup, Klopp had said they might not play the quarter-final because of the same scheduling conflict. It is unfortunate that an issue of this sort could not be sorted out by the organisations involved.
The Club World Cup remains a thorn in the flesh of the English domestic schedule even after years of its inception. Who can forget Manchester United travelling continents to play in the same tournament in the late '90s, refusing to defend their FA Cup crown, a much-maligned decision at the time.
It's an issue that needs resolution and should have been resolved in the last two decades. Many English fans may argue that the Club World Cup is a soulless tournament whatever the prize on offer, the Carabao Cup has more history, more grit to it and Liverpool should have been in the fray; however, it wasn't to be and what we were left with is a fiasco that could have been avoided with some coordination and planning.Published 18 Dec 2019, 13:11 IST