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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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World-class Liverpool target set to move away from La Liga club in the summer

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Latest Liverpool transfer news: James Rodriguez could be on his way to the Premier League

Sky Sports Germany (h/t Mirror) reports that James Rodriguez will not extend his stay with Bayern Munich and wants a new club in the summer.

The 27-year-old joined the Bavarians on a two-year loan deal in 2017 from Real Madrid, and the report claims that the Colombian has struggled to settle at the Bundesliga club.

Rodriguez has put up some great performances for the Bavarians this season and scored 7 goals in the Bundesliga.

Bayern had the choice of signing the Colombian permanently for £37million, but the report claims that Rodriguez isn’t interested in staying at the club.

The report adds that the 27-year-old will meet with agent Jorge Mendes and discuss his future move, and he isn’t interested in staying at Real Madrid too. Zinedine Zidane is back at the club, and he doesn’t see Rodriguez in his plans, according to the report.

Liverpool interested in Rodriguez

The report claims that Liverpool are interested in the Colombian but so are a couple of other Premier League sides.

Manchester United and Arsenal are also keeping tabs on the 27-year-old, and the report claims that Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in Rodriguez.

James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

Liverpool already have a fantastic first-team under Jurgen Klopp but could do with another attacking midfielder in the side.

Rodriguez’s time at Bayern has been average, to say the least, and there is no surety if he will fit into the scheme of things at Anfield.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Liverpool FC transfer news

The Reds play a high-energy game under Klopp and it will be interesting to see who we sign once the season is complete.

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Boost for the Reds as Klopp provides positive news over two Liverpool stars returning to fitness

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Latest Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp provides a positive update on two Liverpool players

Jurgen Klopp provided some positive news regarding Roberto Firmino’s return to the first-team.

The Brazilian missed our last three games and is working to regain fitness ahead of the Champions League final against Tottenham.

The forward is at our training camp at Marbella, and Klopp claimed that the Brazilian still needs to be looked after (h/t LiverpoolFC.com):

“Bobby looks really good [and] he is now part of training. It was not too long out, but of course we are still careful and want to make sure nothing happens.”

The manager added that Firmino had played in some of the smaller games with the rest of the players and it was “the first step to play football.”

“Today he was in around about 70 per cent of the session. Tomorrow he will probably be in completely, we will see, then hopefully it will be fine.”

More good news for Liverpool

Firmino returning to fitness for the final would be a huge boost to our attack.

The Brazilian has a great relationship with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and the trio could cause Tottenham all sorts of problems.

Klopp also spoke about another injured player as Naby Keita is making a return from an abductor injury sustained against Barcelona at the Nou Camp:

“Naby is, I would say, a bit ahead of schedule, but that doesn’t mean anything for the final.”

The German added that the player is running and doing some work, and spoke about Keita possibly playing in the Africa Cup of Nations in the summer.

“For me, it would be good if Naby would be 100 per cent fit and could play the Africa Cup of Nations, to be 100 per cent honest.”

However, Klopp confirmed that Keita would not be playing in the tournament if he wasn’t completely fit, and claimed that the medical staff would work to get the Guinea midfielder back to his best.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

Liverpool have just over a week before the final and hopefully, we have Firmino ready to go against Spurs at the Wanda Metropolitano.

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Promising Liverpool starlet to sign new deal and join Scottish giants on loan

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Liverpool FC transfer news: Sheyi Ojo close to joining Steven Gerrard at Rangers

The Daily Star reports that 21-year-old winger Sheyi Ojo will sign a new five-year deal with Liverpool and then be on the move.

The English youngster was on loan at Reims last season but only made three starts for the Ligue 1 side. Ojo did play 18 games in all competitions for the French side, but most of them came off the bench.

The report claims that Ojo will be joining Rangers after signing a new deal with the Reds. Gers manager Steven Gerrard used his connections to sign a couple of players from Liverpool last season.

Ryan Kent was a success at the club, and the report claims that Gerrard is looking to keep the Englishman for another season.

However, Kent is expected to move to another club, and the report claims that Ojo would be his replacement for the Scottish giants.

Ojo needs to play regular football

The report claims that Ojo is highly rated at Anfield, and it should not come as a surprise if he is loaned out for another season.

The English winger will find it difficult to get regular minutes under Jurgen Klopp next season. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane could do with some competition, however, Ojo hasn’t proven his ability in a top league yet.

It will be interesting to track his development next season and see if he performs better than Kent at Rangers.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

The Reds are blessed with young attacking talent at the moment, with Harry Wilson also shining at Derby County this season.

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