Liverpool continued their disappointing form this season with a terrible performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League. The Spanish side won 3-1 and dealt the Reds a huge blow to their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Two years after Jurgen Klopp’s side came back from 3-0 down against Barcelona, they will need to do the same now against Zinedine Zidane’s men.
Mundo Deportivo have listed four key differences between the remontada against Barcelona in 2019 and their plans to come back against Real Madrid this season.
The report from the Spanish publication lists the injuries to Henderson and van Dijk, the general mood around Liverpool Football Club, key players in terrible form and the lack of fans as reasons for why it will be that much harder to win next week.
Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk
Leadership on the football pitch can go often go unnoticed or is underappreciated – until it’s missing. Have both van Dijk and Henderson out due to injury at such a crucial juncture is hugely damaging for Liverpool.
Not to mention the defensive stability they bring or their ability to help spring decisive counter-attacks. Liverpool are going to need to dig really deep to win without their two most influential leaders.
General mood around Liverpool Football Club
Going from winning the Premier League with 99 points to battling to finish in the top four and losing key player after key player to injury has really killed the self-confidence at Liverpool.
The Anfield outfit went from being boringly good from a neutral’s point of view to just boring. Klopp’s legacy as manager of LFC will be enhanced even more if he can somehow inspire this group of players to a 2-0 win over Real Madrid next week.
Key players suffering a terrible drop in form
Mundo Deportivo specifically mention Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold as players that no longer seem to deliver the quality they did with terrifying regularity in previous seasons.
All will be forgotten by supporters, however, if the downtrodden trio can somehow show their quality and drag their team through to the semi-finals of the Champions League against all odds.
Anfield is not the same without its legendary fans
Most importantly, Anfield will be empty. It’s the first game since lockdown first began that I’m actually worried about the effect not having fans will have.
It was heartbreaking to celebrate the Premier League title triumph in an empty stadium but it’s more saddening to see this talented group of players limp out of a tournament that this club is so famous for doing special things in.