SPARTAK MOSCOW 1 VS LIVERPOOL 1 : REDS HELD IN FREEZING RUSSIA
I don’t know what is wrong with us o.. this Liverpool team appear to be on a mission to make everything difficult for themselves.
Despite being put into one of the easiest Champions League groups – and last night facing a team who have become a shambles – Klopp’s men are still searching for their first win in the group stages. Bad.. its like that 5-0 Wey Mancity Give us reset our brain..we look lost from a result point of view. Struggled to beat Lieicester ..now the champions league we have been pinning for we are cocking it up right before our eyes.
Draws with Sevilla and now the Russian champions. Liverpool will still surely reach the knockout stages as we still have two games against the Slovenians of Maribor while we will surely beat this spatrtak at home. (fingers crossed)
But as we have already seen in this League this season with Liverpool, nothing, ever seems to be simple.
Incredibly, Liverpool have won only two of their past 14 away European games – against Rubin Kazan and Hoffenheim.
And our previous win in the Champions League group stages came in a 2-1 win over Bulgarian side Ludogorets in September 2014.
Anyone who think Klopp’s team can go deep into the Champions League are seeming deluded.
At least we still have Philippe Coutinho who scored his first ever Champions League goal. He will score a few more you can bet, even though they will probably be for Barcelona at some stage.
But predictably, we found ourselves trailing after keeper Loris Karius failed to keep out a free-kick from Fernando.
It was not a howler from Karius but a keeper like David de Gea would have kept it out – maybe even Simon Mignolet.
But Klopp continues to persevere with his goalkeeper rotation and the problems will continue.
Spartak, coached by Massimo Carrera, Antonio Conte’s assistant with Italy and Juventus, went into the game hit badly by injuries – three of their key players sat in front of the press box – and they had scored 16 but conceded 17 in their 11 League games.
The match also followed Uefa’s decision to ban Spartak fans from the next away game at Sevilla after a flare narrowly missed the referee at Maribor. Before the match, a banner unfurled behind the goal read ‘Uefa Mafia’ which will obviously go down well with the governing body.
Even the official banner from the club, which dropped down from the stand before the game, read: Win or Die’.
Despite the hospitable welcome, Liverpool made the early running and Emre Can was a little over-enthusiastic when hitting Salvatore Bocchetti with a strong challenge and was rightly shown a yellow card.
This meant that he would have to play for most of the game with the handbrake on and it was a silly tackle to make.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, who scored a belting free-kick in the play-off at Hoffenheim, was clearly annoyed with himself for failing to deliver a better shot after a tidy one-two with Mo Salah.
Salah then exposed the visiting defence for pace but shot straight at home keeper Rebrov, who then made an excellent stop to keep out a header from Firmino
At no stage had Spartak looked dangerous in the final third let alone appear capable of troubling Karius so even the home fans could not believe their luck when the ball flew past the visiting keeper in the 23rd minute.
The atmosphere at this impressive new stadium to the north-west of the capital – which will stage group stages in the World Cup – was pretty impressive. Yet after Fernando’s set piece whizzed into the net, the noise cranked up a notch.
Coutinho conceded a free-kick and Fernando, a Brazilian defensive midfielder, whipped the ball over Sadio Manio’s head at the end of the wall. But the ball was in a relatively central area yet Karius still failed to get a hand to it. Once again, not good enough from the German.
Mane stuck the ball in the net but was miles offside yet there was nothing wrong with Coutinho’s powerful finish on the half hour.
He belted an effort past Rebrov after running intro the area following a one-two with Mane and his finish was certainly excellent.
Firmino wasted a good chance from close range and then we somehow failed to score when they charged forward – four players against two – but Salah strayed offside. Insane stuff!
Being caught on the counter-attack had already been a much-discussed issue among Spartak fans while there have been doubts over their fitness towards the end of games.
We totally controlled the second half. Coutinho saw a free-kick pushed away by the visiting keeper while in a rare home attack, Andrei Eschenko hammered the ball straight at Karius, who still punched the ball away for a corner.
Spartak lost their keeper Rebrov, Daniel Sturridge came on for the final 20 minutes but we could not grab the win.