Champions League: 3 Liverpool players who let Jurgen Klopp down against Barcelona
Liverpool put Barcelona under some serious pressure at times during their Champions League semi-final first leg clash at the Camp Nou last night. However, the Reds ended up losing the game 3-0 and the scoreline is definitely not a true reflection of how the mmatch unfolded. Liverpool wasted too many chances and Lionel Messi once again proved to be the difference between the teams.
The game was very open as both sides were looking to attack for the entire 90 minutes. However, the English giants failed to secure the much needed away goal(s), while some poor defending, coupled with some individual brilliance saw them concede three times. It would be difficult for Liverpool to turn things around in the return leg at Anfield next week.
Here, we will take a look at three Liverpool players, who let Jurgen Klopp down the most, at the Camp Nou.
The Senegalese superstar has been one of Liverpool's deadliest threats alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. The former Southampton man has been heavily linked with Real Madrid due to his excellent displays this season. He was expected to become Klopp's ultimate weapon in delivering swift and deadly attacks to Barcelona's cause last night.
Sadly, Sadio Mane failed to even hit a single shot on target throughout the match and missed an easy chance, going by his standards, in the first half of the game. He might have successfully terrorized Barcelona's full-backs with his speedy runs, but the lack of end product can't be denied.
He also gave the ball away too much and failed to provide any key passes for his teammates. He is the player who should step up the most in the return leg if Liverpool are to overturn their three-goal deficit.
The Dutchman became one of Klopp's failed experiments, which cost Liverpool a lot against Barcelona. He looked uncomfortable in his unusual false 9 role and was unable to make any significant contribution to the Reds' attacks.
He got dispossessed twice and had zero shots in the 79 minutes he was on the pitch, an utterly underwhelming display for a highly-rated Premier League midfielder. He also failed to record any successful dribble even though he is known for his ability to glide past his opponents.
However, Klopp should be the man to take the blame for Wijnaldum's abysmal showing as the manager didn't play him in his preferred position. Perhaps, Liverpool could have got a better result had Klopp replaced Wijnaldum with Firmino earlier.
The Cameroonian has been able to become an ideal partner for Virgil van Dijk, although Liverpool have been time and again urged to find a new centre-back to play alongside the Dutch defender. Klopp also seems to trust Matip more than Dejan Lovren as he has significantly more game time than his Croatian counterpart this season.
However, his failure to properly mark Barcelona's players resulted in Liverpool's demise at the Camp Nou. He became a mere spectator for Barcelona's first goal as he failed to predict Luis Suarez's movement.
The former Schalke defender also set Sergi Roberto free which led to Barcelona's second. Perhaps it is time for Klopp to give a chance to Lovren in the return leg at Anfield next week.