Liverpool fans must almost be wondering why they were excited about a return to the Champions League after watching their side slip to a 1-0 loss at Basel. The Reds laboured to a 2-1 victory against Ludogorets in their opening tie and entered the game against the Swiss side full of confidence after an encouraging 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby. But the scoreline was a poor one for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who have Real Madrid up next…
In truth, Liverpool’s season so far has been a stuttering affair, with momentum and panache of 2013/14 having been misplaced (perhaps alongside Luis Suarez). So what’s going wrong at Anfield? Here are three problems we spotted this evening…
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Mario Balotelli arrived with much hype, but with just one goal to his name so far, things aren’t quite working out for the big Italian. He huffed and puffed against Basel this evening, but he appeared off of the pace an unable to link up with his team-mates effectively. Balotelli needs to dig deep to save his Reds career already…
Say what you like about the rest of the team but Balotelli has been an absolutely awful purchase. Offers nothing. At all.
— Sam Temple (@STemple90) October 1, 2014
balotelli gets angry then boom he’s out for the rest of the match. awful attitude.
— Mike (@MikeJohnno) October 1, 2014
Balotelli is awful, absolute pony
— MonkeyBoy (@Poshmanc2) October 1, 2014
Liverpool’s Achilles heel this season has been set-pieces. Again Brendan Rodgers’ men leaked a vital goal from such a situation, with Marco Streller tapping home after the Reds’ rearguard failed to deal with a fairly routine ball. Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel will have to step up before long to prevent the season from getting away from them.
— donald (@angryknob) October 1, 2014
Another set piece goal for the opposition @LFC
— Jazz Vo (@Jazz_Vo) October 1, 2014
This is pretty worrying because we cannot carve out any sort of gilt edge chances and look susceptible to any set piece. #LFC
— Brandon Jones (@Brantanomobay) October 1, 2014
He may have claimed that his critics were answered with his Merseyside derby goal against Everton, but the questions surrounding the Liverpool skipper are still present. Gerrard again appeared laboured in Switzerland, with his sluggish movement exposed by the fleet-footed Basel attack.
Is he finished? Not just yet, but Rodgers needs to help his captain.
Is Gerrard actually still on the pitch? If so, what is he actually contributing to the team. Muck football by Liverpool.
— Mark Dunphy (@Mark_Dunphy) October 1, 2014
Gerrard is turning into Glenn Whelan 40 yards away from play and off the pace.
— Gary Stewart (@GaryStew1980) October 1, 2014
Playing Gerrard as alone dm is not right. He needs someone beside him that’s like a masherano or a Vidal. The guy doesn’t have the legs :/
— 4th of October (@MrThompson007) October 1, 2014