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Complacency hits Liverpool: Five talking points from crushing Red Star Belgrade loss

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Liverpool came unstuck against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League as they lost 2-0 on Tuesday. The defeat threw a spanner in the works as we face Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli in our final group games.

A couple of goals from Milan Pavkov were enough to defeat the Reds and hand them their third away loss on the spin in the competition.

More surprisingly, we barely threatened the home side after a decent spell of around 10 minutes. A number of players didn’t seem dialled into the game and we were made to pay.

Looking back at the fixture, there weren’t many positives to bring out and here are the five talking points from the clash.

1) Liverpool taking the game lightly

The Reds didn’t travel to Serbia with Xherdan Shaqiri as Jurgen Klopp didn’t want to make a political statement against Red Star.

However, the players didn’t seem to turn up for the first half at all. The home side were chomping at the bits, and it wasn’t a great surprise when they took the lead.

Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool

Normally, the Reds would have responded and laid siege to the opposition box, but we did nothing of that sort and were made to pay by conceding another goal.

This should serve as a warning to the Reds for the remainder of the campaign. There are no freebies in the Champions League or in the Premier League, and we have to give our 100% all the time.

2) Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge fail to impress

It was always going to be a bit of a risk playing with Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge. Both haven’t started many games for us this season, and playing at a tough ground was always going to be a big ask for the pair.

The Englishmen struggled to impose themselves on the pitch with Sturridge missing a glorious chance of making it 1-0 to the Reds early on.

Daniel Sturridge Joe Gomez Liverpool training

The smarter thing would have been to start with our best XI and then sub those players in who need minutes on the pitch.

3) Our attack has no bite

Our attack featured Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane but the pair were absolutely woeful throughout the game.

Sadio Mane liverpool

Mane was even pushed wide right in the second half but the Senegalese gave the ball away regularly while Salah was a bit part player in the game.

The Egyptian did strike the post in the second half but both players need to get back to their best if we want to make it to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

4) The missing midfield

If our attack was toothless, our midfield was non-existent. Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Lallana weren’t up for the fight against the Serbian side, and the trio had no say in the game at all.

It was a big surprise seeing Wijnaldum and Milner struggle in the heart of the pitch given how good they have been this season, and they need to prepare themselves for a couple of tough games against PSG and Napoli in the coming weeks.

5) Champions League future in our own hands

Although the loss was damaging, Liverpool have their Champions League future in their own hands. A win over Paris Saint-Germain will be enough to see us through to the next round.

Anything less than a win, and we have to defeat Napoli by two clear goals to make it into the knockout phase.

Read more: “The team should apologize and reimburse any fan that went to watch” – Some Liverpool fans upset over 2-0 loss to Red Star Belgrade

Liverpool can’t seem to do things the easy way as we faced a similar scenario last season. Of course, we were up against lesser opposition last time around, however, we should perform well when we have our backs against the wall.

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“It’s the wrong club for him” – ESPN pundit urges American star to snub Chelsea and join Liverpool

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Christian Pulisic

Former Arsenal star and ESPN pundit Paul Mariner has told Christian Pulisic to snub Chelsea and join Liverpool.

The American sensation has been linked (h/t Guardian ) with a move to the Premier League with Chelsea and Liverpool interested in the winger.

Pulisic has found starts hard to come at the Bundesliga leaders and Mariner was quoted by the Express saying:

“No, don’t do it.

“It’s the wrong club for him.

“He’s just going to go into a hopper of decent footballers who eventually go out on loan.

“Is he going to get in the team on this present form? No he’s not.

The former Gunner added that Pulisic is still developing as a player and Liverpool would be great for him, especially because we have Jurgen Klopp

“If you were to ask me for a club he should go to – Liverpool.

“Klopp understands the Bundesliga, he understands what it takes to mould a player. He knows him very, very well.

“If Pulisic were to go to Liverpool, the nurturing and the way that Klopp puts his arm around players, I think it would be a fabulous move for him.”

The 20-year-old would be an incredible signing for the Reds and would add more firepower to our star-studded attack.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino haven’t been firing on all cylinders this season but the addition of Pulisic could change that.

Read more: “Man on a mission”, “Liverpool needs you” – Some Liverpool fans go crazy after star posts training video

The American would not come on the cheap but given he has a ton of potential and is only 20, Klopp should take a punt on the Dortmund youngster.

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(Video) Liverpool star breaks down after seeing his side win 1-0 over Equatorial Guinea

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Sadio Mane liverpool

Liverpool star Sadio Mane broke down in tears after Senegal’s 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

The attacker had to be helped off the pitch by his teammates despite the team winning the game. The Metro reports that Mane had the chance to double Senegal’s lead in the game but missed his chance.

Many supporters turned on the 26-year-old and booed him for the miss. When the match ended, Mane fell to the ground, tearing up.

His teammates tried to help him up but the Liverpool star fell once again before he was taken off the pitch.

Mane has struggled to perform for Liverpool this season, and it seems his form deserted him for the national side too.

Although Senegal won the game, the reaction from Mane was a little surprising. This reaction reminds us of that 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace with Luis Suarez breaking down after the match ended.

The Senegal forward is one of our most important players and we need to have him in the right frame of mind for the rest of the season.

The 26-year-old has seven goals for us this season, which isn’t a bad return, but we haven’t seen the best of our attackers yet.

Read more: “I probably have to do two months of running” – Liverpool star provides next steps on road to recovery

Our next game is a tough tie against Watford at Vicarage Road, and the Senegalese attacker has to be at his best if we are to pick up the three points.

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Liverpool keeping an eye on 18-year-old Brazilian sensation

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Bruno Roberto

Liverpool are one of the clubs keeping an eye on Brazilian sensation Bruno Roberto, according to the Daily Mail.

The 18-year-old recently played for the senior Atletico Mineiro side and is expected to follow the “lead” by Gabriel Jesus, as per the report.

Roberto plays as an attacking midfielder and has also interested the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea, as per the report.

The 18-year-old could be another great Brazilian coming through the ranks and it will be interesting to see if we follow up with our interest.

Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool

Liverpool have a few Brazilian internationals in their side with Alisson and Fabinho joining in the summer. Roberto Firmino has enjoyed a fantastic spell under Jurgen Klopp and seems to be getting better with each season under his belt.

The Reds have to be wary regarding South American youngsters as we have another Brazilian on the books, Allan, that has had trouble getting work permits in Britain.

The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt but hasn’t played a single competitive game for the Reds since joining in 2015.

Roberto could be a star in the making and if he wants to develop into the finished article, there is no better place than Liverpool.

Read more: “Man on a mission”, “Liverpool needs you” – Some Liverpool fans go crazy after star posts training video

Klopp has one of the best youth teams in England, and the German is known for handing chances to youngsters at the club.

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