Monday, August 8, 2022

Champions League Final Review: Three Things That Went Wrong For Liverpool Against Real Madrid

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

A ‘quadruple’ chasing Liverpool suffered yet another heartbreak this weekend following a 1-0 defeat against Real Madrid in the Champions League final. They started the game brightly after last week’s Premier League disappointment. But Thibaut Courtois masterclass in the Blancos goal saw the Reds finish their season with merely a domestic double.

Real Madrid had a tremendous campaign as they revived every time from the verge of being eliminated. The champions of Spain knocked Paris St-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City out in the most dramatic manner to secure a berth at Parc des Princes, whereas their defensive masterclass helped them clinch their 14th Champions League title.

The Reds, meanwhile, competed for all possible silverware which should not be downplayed based on the final outcome. They only lost four games in an incredible 63-game season, but a few things went haywire last night that must be addressed in the upcoming summer window.

No ‘Plan B’ In The Attacking Third

Luis Diaz has been an instant success for his pace and swift footwork down the left-hand flank, but the Merseysiders must opt for further addition high up the pitch amid rumours of Sadio Mane’s potential egress.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp with captain Jodan Henderson
Liverpool’s English midfielder Jordan Henderson (L) and Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) react after losing the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on May 28, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

The Senegalese slotted in well as a centre-forward and Liverpool, thus, should bring in someone who would be prolific while spearheading the attack. Roberto Firmino is past his prime and no more the regular starter, also they are parting ways with Divock Origi who is seeking a fresh start elsewhere. Jurgen Klopp prefers a flexible front three capable of interchanging their roles, however, a more direct approach could have saved their night had they owned a targetman in their ranks.

Lack Of Creative Spark In Midfield

Liverpool had a sigh of relief when Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara passed late fitness tests for the showdown in Paris. Although their three-man midfield is known for dominating possession, ‘gegenpressing’ and high work ethics, the Reds still need a ‘number 10’ who could make a difference with his creative spark from an advanced midfield slot. Naby Keita was supposed to be the solution given his dribbling attribute, long-range expertise and defence-splitting through passes. But the lack of form and fitness refrained him from cementing a starting place in all these years.

Alexander-Arnold And His Frailty In Defence

It might sound a bit harsh considering how he contained Vinicius Jr barring one occasion. The dynamic Liverpool right-back left the Brazilian unmarked for the goal which, unsurprisingly, reignited questions about his defensive ability. His attacking game was not up to the mark either, but he should have been more cautious at the back, particularly after last season’s disastrous display against the same player.

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