SO sum that up?
From the moment the Champions League draw was made and everyone started talking about how Liverpool had done alright alarm bells started ringing, because we’ve been here before and it’s not ended well.
Of Liverpool’s last two sojourns into the Champions League The Reds have faced such giants as Debrecen, Lyon, Fiorentina, Ludogorets and Basel and in all that time have managed to win just once on the road, eight years ago in Hungary in a game where a solitary David N’Gog strike not enough to get Liverpool into the next round despite winning by one goal to nil.
All the talk all week has been about how weak Spartak Moscow are and how we’ll run riot, again oblivious to The Reds’ capacity to take a shotgun and not content to fill a foot full of pellets, then bludgeon what’s left of the stump.
It’s easy to point the finger at another lack of clean sheet, and fingers will be pointed, both Emre Can and Loris Karius especially culpable for turning another comfortable situation into The Reds having to once again come from behind.
You can bang on about confirmation bias all you want, but did you really think Spartak weren’t going to score from a freekick midway through a first half when they’ve had not so much as a kick and shown zero threat?
Of course they were going to score. But then, that let’s everyone else off the hook.
As against Burnley, Liverpool struck back within eight minutes, and again, once finding themselves level with over 70 minutes of the game to play, Liverpool fluffed their lines time after time.
The Reds are the kings of making heroes of opposition goalkeepers, wave after wave of Liverpool pressure constantly falling down when it matters, mostly this season it’s been a calm final pass, tonight it was a mixture of a killer ball and a calculated finish.
It came down to being ruthless, and Liverpool simply are not.
Tonight the opposition had a goalkeeper effectively playing on one leg, so what did The Reds do to take advantage? Nothing.
Instead, they allowed the home team to play the situation to their advantage and run the clock down, and again, and again, knowing that whatever injury time would be imposed wouldn’t match stoppages and would disrupt the rhythm of the game.
And what the fuck is that stupid fucking golf cart about, seriously, for fuck’s sake, couldn’t they get John Achterberg to burst a tyre? He lived on the Wirral long enough, he knows the script.
Notwithstanding, and without trying to resort to hyperbole, time after time Liverpool jibbed opportunities served on a platter large enough for the biggest of Scouse christening buffets but whether it was Sadio Mane managing to get himself offside on a 18 v two, or Daniel Sturridge blamming one over the bar when it’s easier to score, or Roberto Firmino threading a perfect ball between two attackers to their centre half in injury time?
And yeah, both their ‘keepers made some decent saves, but only because The Reds allowed them to, instead of finding corner they put them within reach because of the nerves and the tension which plagues this side when things are tight.
Liverpool get a goal ahead tonight and they end up winning by three at least, no question.
Tonight’s result isn’t a disaster, but it’s one, just like Sevilla that The Reds have to learn from and quickly but in this game you only get so many chances to fluff your lines when it matters.
We need to get clinical, and quick.