Liverpool fell to a 2-1 defeat in Paris on Wednesday evening, handing themselves a big blow to their hopes of progressing out of their Champions League group. Football stadia are often referred to as theatres but you could have been watching Shakespeare’s finest last night with the amount of amateur dramatics on show, it really was embarrassing.
Don’t get me wrong, the Reds did not deserve to win that match for reasons I will attempt to go into but what do the PSG fans truly make of their star players rolling around like they’ve been shot every five minutes? It’s frustrating as hell and it really ruins the magic of players like Neymar for me. I’d sooner back a world-class footballer that can stay on his pissin’ feet.
At one point Thiago Silva fell over with no Liverpool players near him, hit his head on the pitch and proceeded to roll around in agony like he was concussed. It’s a bit of grass mate, get up.
|Image via Independent|
Away from the PSG theatrics, the French side did well to score so early on in the game. I was saying to my mate in the pub that this could come down to who gets off the mark quicker, both teams have a punishing attack but if one gains momentum before the other it can be hard to fight back.
The goal scored by Bernat after 13 minutes was aided by a rare dodgy clearance from Virgil van Dijk and PSG’s second at 37 minutes was finished by Neymar after a strong counter-attack.
Liverpool weren’t showing any real signs of finding the back of the net but Sadio Mane (who for me was one of very few players deserving of a mention last night) caused issues in the box and after some deliberation, the referee awarded a penalty. James Milner confidently put the spot kick past Gianluigi Buffon, an apt way to celebrate his 150th game for the club.
After scoring the peno, I felt like we’d get back into the match but the second half was pretty much the same as the first. The midfield for me looked lacking in options, afraid to push forward and constantly passing back. In fairness though, even when the ball did trickle forward, Salah and Firmino, on the whole, were quiet by their standards and I can’t really think of any troublesome attacks that PSG had to deal with. Any half chance seemed to arise from corners or free kicks.
It just didn’t happen for the Reds, prior to us kicking off in the group stages I’d kind of written off PSG away as zero points but after we slipped up against Red Star and knowing a win or even a draw would make our lives easier, I genuinely thought we might have a chance. I certainly thought we’d put on a better display than the 90 minutes I saw.
Nevertheless, Liverpool are a team synonymous with miracles in Europe and this isn’t over just yet. The Reds need a 1-0 win over Napoli or to win by two clear goals if the Italians find the net. From what I know of Napoli, I fully expect them to find the back of the net, also Napoli will be desperate to win because if we get the better of them and PSG beat Red Star, they’ll drop into the Europa League.
So I find myself reminiscing of Olympiakos all those years ago… To be honest though, I still think under the Anfield floodlights the Reds could quite confidently beat Napoli, I just hope it doesn’t prove to be another off day for the lads.
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Source: The Liver Bird