GETTING beat is rubbish.
Yes it is. The fact is that Liverpool are a good team. No wait, a great team. But still, even a great team gets beat.
From back to front there is effort. As discussed after the match, the goalkeeper is probably the man of the match. The commentators describe his saves as “smart”, but so often “smart” damns with faint praise. What they really mean is effective. What they should mean is excellent.
The story is told at the final whistle, the story is told when the Parisian central defenders chest bump because they win a goal kick. The story is this — beating Liverpool matters. It means something. Liverpool are class. They deserve to be here. They deserve this kingdom. Their castle, if taken, is a serious castle. Their name rings out.
Their name rings out. The challenge shifts. It gets harder and harder as you get better and as opponents think you’re better. In that first half, PSG gambled the farm on their opening. They gave it everything they had and, trust me, that is a lot. These are a terrific side who want it all.
Still Liverpool were poor in the opening, every line five or 10 metres out from where they need to be, and their lines anticipated by Thomas Tuchel and his men. Liverpool wanted to win first balls but PSG wanted first balls to move so fast they were barely there, wanted everything to flick around corners.
Liverpool for the first half an hour didn’t so much lose the midfield battle as not be able to attend it. The ball was there and then it wasn’t, and Jürgen Klopp didn’t want anyone sitting. PSG played on the raggedest of edges in a manner for which they deserve enormous credit. The football was tooth and nail.
The referee was bald and so were his decisions. Marco Veratti should be sent off first half but that’s sound as he should be sent off second half too. Repeatedly. But home and away means something, means decisions can go against you and for them. They knew what it meant at their gaff, again tooth and nail.
Sadio Mane was the outstanding outfield Liverpudlian. He showed until it hurt, PSG doubled and tripled up marvellously but still he was there. Big Virgil van Dijk found it a challenge. He wasn’t as imperious as per. Mo Salah didn’t quite nail things but he got very little opportunity. Jordan Henderson and James Milner grew into it, though the latter faded, but that wasn’t enough in the context of what had gone before.
The biggest boost was Naby Keita who came on and nearly came alive. He should now be given his head; Everton and Burnley watch out, hopefully. Bright as a button and nicely vertical. The manager could have started him tonight. That could becomes a should. He can come alive for The Reds.
Knockout football without being knocked out is odd. It isn’t quite right but it is the tightrope we always walk these days. One more go at home to Napoli is an upside. Liverpool can look at the video and have a big think because they are treated as the big dogs. And big dogs need to bark a bit more.
Can’t wait for the 11th. Getting beat is rubbish. But right now not terminal. Glad we’re all together, sweetheart. Glad we get one more go.
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PSG is a great team, I can’t be arsed with Neymar, he is scintillating, bags of talent and tricks; the term “world class” was invented for him. Since the World Cup though – and he wasn’t even close to his worst tonight – I can hardly stand to watch him, the playacting absurd.
All on for Napoli, up the reds, this wasn’t Napoli or Red Star away, this was a dog fight against the other bid dog, we got bit this time. Looking forward to the Derby, and crushing Napoli at Anfield.
Must have watched something different tonight as what I saw was us again being naive and shockingly poor. 2 poor goals conceded, where we are at fault for them. We were awful and I have stated where in the article Ben did.
Sorry but this seems like trying too hard to make out we are a great team. Unfortunately not with the performances we have shown in Europe this season away from home. All have been down to us not actually turning up and doing anything.
We were very poor tonight.
Salah looks a shadow of last season. Henderson was a total liability and, likeable fella he may be, is not even close to the required standard at this level.
This is absolutely spot on. We’re still some way off to be classed as a great team – let alone a great Liverpool team. We defined greatness, and this side, for all its moments of brilliance (and there are many) still falls some way short of the standards of greatness set by this club. The bigger picture is of course the nigh-on 30 year wait for a league title and a nine year trophy drought, but of more immediate concern is the fact that we haven’t won away in Europe – and not looked like winning away – since Man City last April. If we do beat Napoli by the required margins, which contrary to popular belief will be no cakewalk, that alarming slump has to be addressed.
Neil, please keep away from the ale when you’re typing.
The Reds were rubbish for the most part, especially in the first half.
Yes the Ref was a dickhead or bald-head whatever you prefer, but we lacked ideas in the final 3rd.
Salah I think is overrated. He can’t fucking shoot or play well with his right foot to save his life. He seems too nimble and goes into arm-wrestling mode when he is no match for the defender that’s marking him.
Have to give some credit to Marquinos and Thiago who still has some speed that kept Salah quiet.
Firmino needs to take some of his tatoos off this season, it’s weighing him down.
Midfield tried but once again, lacks creativity. And it’s amazing how Henderson still managed a back-pass amidst all of this!
Not sure about Keita as yet. He needs game time, and maybe the Derby might help.
“And big dogs need to bark a bit more.” Not bark, we’ve done enough barking since 2005.
Time to start biting!
Looked at that and after 5 mins thought we need to play eith 4 or 5 in midfield tonight.
Liverpool went awol first half almost awe sruck. Psg after the first leg said they needed to play more like liverpool and press and pressurise opponents. Well they did that last night. Worthy winners in the end although i wish somebody would scryally boot naymar full pelt in the face at least then he would be justified in holding his face every time he slipped over holding it and rollung on the floor. What a horrible little shit he is
I’m with Neil. We lost a tight match against a top top side. That’s why PSG have spent the GDP of the fucking entire NHS on their squad. Not to roll over at home to Liverpool. We fought hard to stay in it and don’t need all the pseudo football experts pretending they know more than Klopp.
We can all see the strengths and weaknesses, some players struggling for best form and the areas of work in progress. Obvious. Stay positive. 3 years ago we had become a joke. Hard work led by Klopp means we are now a force again. The season is long and we need to show the same fight as supporters as we want from the players.
Great read Neil.
Spot on Neil. Voice of reason. Again.
The meltdown from the wider fanbase is just embarrassing.
Very right. Every where I check on LFC- related online sites, the meltdown is amazing. It’s like we lost to a Championship side.
Stop trying to dress up certain things. We were very poor and not for the first time this season, in fact it is becoming a trend away from Anfield in Europe.
I will put it another way then, should we just bring Rodgers back and say, “Feck it, we are playing Real Madrid away, so wheel out the Ressies?”
We were poor and showed no fight, no clue and shocking tactics, which unfortunately has been the story this season in Europe. I am tired of people making a case of they are better because they spent more money, blah, blah, blah, yet in the same breath state we are at their level or even better and then make a case for winning the league or in fact the CL. To do both requires a bit more passion, desire, determination and fight. Unfortunately we have lacked all of these away from home in Europe this season and have equally been shockingly naïve.
As for someone above putting stuff pseudo football experts. I have seen us win everything down the years, even played at a decent level and coached… But best of the lot I can see exactly what is playing out in front of my eyes and then can look at all the stats and stuff afterwards and re-watch the games. Doesn’t take experts to see things, sometime it just takes looking at what is unfolding. It is also a case of how much do we want things.
So we can ask the supporters to get behind the team and we will, but voice of reason and all that, sometimes things have to be said as fact and realism even if it is hard to swallow, plus you learn more in defeat that winning.
Actually thought we were worse against Red Star.
Think you are over reacting by saying those boys showed no fight vs PSG. We did fight but they were better on the night.
Same way we were better when they came to Anfield and escaped with a 3-2 battering.
Some of our fans need to add some perspective to things and not suddenly think we are crap after the occasional loss.
We are a very good team and are proving that by being currently only 2 points off Man City, one of the best teams in Europe. Pep had to basically alter his tactics defensively just to get a draw at Anfield. That’s enormous evidence and credit to us.
The reality last night is that individually and as a team they are better than we are. To be fair after the money they have spent it would be foolish to expect anything else. The big question is how can we close the gap because on current form our best players simply do not compare.
They were better than us on the night, just like we were better than them at Anfield.
It happens in football. Winners and Losers. I cant stand this thing where a defeat causes a complete rethink on what Liverpool are and should be. We lost, we didn’t play particularly well against a very good PSG on the night. That is it. That’s your lot.
KM is bang on. We “battered” them at Anfield and they returned the favour. Yes we were poor first half but we are not suddenly a shit team bcos we lost 2-1 to PSG.
They were actually hanging on in the 2nd half, the fact that they were celebrating goalkicks and trying to waste time by playacting shows it.
This over-reaction from some of our fans is frankly pathetic. People saying ‘Salah this, Salah that, Salah is over rated’ need to chill out.
News Flash- Salah isn’t going to score 44 goals this season. Deal with it. He is well on for getting 25 which is still awesome.
You can also look at it as if we don’t beat Napoli in the last game by two clear goals, and instead go to the Europa League, what will you be talking about then?
When a team decides to beat Liverpool they go and do just that with no real reply from LFC except excuses (ref, linesman, VAR, my grandma).
Madrid beat us, even though we lost our talisman to injury, we still had time to beat them, when it mattered.
Seville beat us when it mattered and so did City.
PSG wanted it and they beat us knowing how important the game was to them, while we were looking forward to Napoli I think.
If this was a title match, what would you say then?
Even though we beat PSG at home, we would have drawn that game as well if you watch the replay. They had it in them to turn it around then too, but ran out of time and Ref’s help.
Klopp and the Reds, need to stop fucking about in the UCL and show up when it’s needed, otherwise there’s always second place trophy we can sing about to our kids and grandkids.
I’m just miffed. Getting beat *is* rubbish but especially to this bloated petro-project. Neymar is the worst, most charmless best player ever, a dreadful carbuncle of eighties synth hair and spoilt boarding school brat. Speaking of which, what’s with Tuchel’s tiny jackets? They’re just a horrible shower in general and I hope we get through to meet them deeper in the tournament and hammer them.
That’s a big if, though. We have to ask legitimate questions as to why our attack has malfunctioned in the away games in the CL. We’re just not clicking and the great league form – if not the performance levels – have masked that. We don’t need to panic, but something needs to happen and sharpish. There’s no reason we shouldn’t sort it out, but it does need sorting.
After we survived the first half and were the better team in the second it was a shame that we couldn’t do more in front of goal. PSG must have defended well but unfortunately it seemed a bit like our lads were overawed by PSG and the situation.
But they paid us too much respect and you could see Tuchel was very frustrated. If they had pushed on in the second like the first it could have been embarrassing.
It’s hard to know what conclusions to draw, but Napoli is no dead cert for sure and nobody needs the Europa fucking league.
You’re more realistic than some of these comments made about swinging the pendulum the other way.
You’re right, PSG defended well, especially Thiago Silva. The guy is 34 years old but ran about like he was 24 years old.
And yes PSG showed us too much respect. It’s their achilles heel in the past UCL runs.
Napoli are no pushovers, and to expect to just go out and beat them is asking for trouble.
I hope Klopp and the Reds don’t think like some supporters in this respect.
I can’t believe we allowed Neymar, Mbappe, and Cavani to score two goals. Especially considering the dross they have around them. If we can’t beat these minnows, we are no better than Bayern Munich last season. Let’s bin the lot. Sure, the same exact players were in a Champions League final a few months ago, but ancient history means nothing to us.
Now, where did I leave that little plastic flag?
What we did last season is last season, it is what they do this season that also counts.
I do like this statement though from you Walter, “I can’t believe we allowed Neymar, Mbappe, and Cavani to score two goals”, unfortunately the truth of the matter is we defended those two goals very poorly, shockingly poorly and got punished as a result. It may have escaped you notice Walter that whilst these expensive players you discuss play for PSG did score these goals, our expensive players that set records for most expensive defender and goal keeper was part of a defence that conceded them. We claim to have the World best goalie and centre back. We claim to have the World’s most devastating attack… an attack that you make a comment in the fact they got us to the Final last term.
Think what you are missing the point here Walter is the fact that it is the lack of performance now for 5 away games and counting in Europe on the spin, but more importantly 3 this season where we have not been good in any areas of the pitch. So this is also history and more recent that the CL Final (that we lost) that you discuss.
We are allowed to comment Walter and not follow blindly like sheep and we are also not so naïve not to have noticed what PSG have spent on their players and/or who they are, but last time I looked we fielded a full team of Internationals, who most would demand a handsome price now if you tried to purchase them and this lot have proven that they can play when they are up for it. last night was again a multitude of errors that we committed and all are avoidable and these players themselves know they can play better. We are allowed to say that… or rather should we just say, hey, it PSG, or City, or Man Utd or Real, or Barca, or Juve or Bayern et al, best we now just accept we haven’t spent what they have spent and just roll over and accept a defeat right here and now.
No one is actually demanding binning anyone, in fact most are actually wanting to retain them and wanting them to live up to what they are capable of.
Misplaced sarcasm. maybe you should read what people have passionately put before slating them for caring.
J, you say it is what they do this season that counts.
Well we are doing quite well in the premier league if you haven’t noticed. Our best ever start and just 2 points off Man City, one of the best teams in Europe.
If you can’t balance criticism with perspective, then it’s a Damn shame.
You keep banging on about the away results in the CL. The Red Star result was truly awful, yes. Napoli and PSG away was always going to be tough.
However despite all that, we still have qualification in our hands. Would you really bet against these Reds on an European night at Anfield? I think a 2 goal margin win is doable.
poor result, but an excellent piece of writing (as always).
Competing on 2 fronts – CL and the PL- at the top of your game ain’t easy. When was the last time we were in the hunt on both fronts? Maybe over 30 years ago??
Expecting the first 45 mins of City and Roma at Anfield last season playing twice a week. we need another £500m. FSG??
Saying last season counts for nothing is bollox. A defeat has to be viewed in the overall big picture. Is it part of a decline or a setback to a plan which seems to be making giant strides in the right direction.
Calling out hard working players as shite is not my idea of caring but each to their own. We’re all individuals who happen to support the same team so you will get the full range of personalities. I remember on the Kop in the 80s a lad near me used to spend the whole match hurling abuse at any Red who made a bad touch even when we were 4-0 up! Not sure 50000 of that type would be much use to the players though. It’s a free country and no law against moaning I guess.
An excellent piece again, but can’t agree with the sentiment. The reds were awful. First goal was bad luck, but the second… The high press is all very well, but against a nippy team like PSG it left us flat footed when our attack broke down…. Anyway, I think it’s fair dooz now to think out loud… ARE WE GOOD ENOUGH this season? I’m not convinced.
Well, I’m not so sure we have to panic as some have already begun. PSG were better than I have ever seen them. They were playing out of their heads on both sides of the ball. It was like an Anfield Night in Paris. Someone must have told Neymar to not try to dribble through the whole world this time because when he keeps the ball moving it’s pretty scary (his epic douche-baggery not withstanding). You could see that things were just going their way as well, from the 1st goal to slight deflections that affected possible scoring chances, it was all working for them.
On the other hand, we didn’t cover ourselves in glory either. Bobby was a bit of mess, Salah couldn’t get in the groove, Mane wasn’t clinical or decisive, our midfield was a sieve, and the defense struggled at times. The team was trying to press like last year which they haven’t really been doing this year, and when it broke it broke big.
Another big Anfield night to look forward to…