Paul Tomkins, Andrew Beasley, Daniel Rhodes and other TTT regulars will give their thoughts on the match for 24 hours after the game, so the article received via email is unlikely to be the final version. There's statistics from the match and videos too.
A ludicrous scoreline, given that both teams had nine shots, and Liverpool led 2-0, and somehow didn't make it 3-1, and then should have had a game-changing penalty at 3-2 for a clear push on Darwin Núñez to stop him heading at goal.
Indeed, the Reds had more big chances, and "won" on xG.
Yet in a game of fine margins, Liverpool ended up battered 5-2.
The Times noted earlier today that these are the most games played by European clubs since the start of last season, and you would say all are well below their usual standards in 2022/23 – with Madrid massively riding their luck tonight, and playing in a slower, less physical league.
Liverpool, 97 games
Chelsea, 95 games
Man City, 94 games
Real Madrid, 92 games
West Ham, 90 games
But the Reds also shot themselves in the foot, with Alisson's slack pass gifting Real Madrid an equaliser, and then a clumsy foul by Joe Gomez leading to another poorly defended set-piece, before a tame shot deflected off him to make it 4-2.
The same issues remain, in that the midfield doesn't have legs anymore (nothing new there), and leaves enormous gaps, with Fabinho guilty of giving the ball away and being out of the game on the 4th goal. It’s a team running on fumes, but the newer and younger players are showing there’s plenty to rebuild upon.
Stefan Bajcetic was bright, but at just 18, overrun with everyone else once the score went 3-2 just after half-time. He remains a class act, who will get stronger and faster with age – he has the natural pace and energy, but given his age and frame, not yet the power and fully-developed stamina to maintain it. Look at Vinícius Júnior at 18, 19 and 20 – improving with game-time, but only exploding once aged 21. Yet without the games at 18, 19 and 20, he doesn’t become the player he is right now, where his goalscoring ratio has more than quadrupled.
Vinícius is even scoring goals now when turning his back. Alisson made the same passing error as in a recent game, and that's not sustainable.
The biggest disappointment from a frantic first half was how quiet the crowd went when Real Madrid made it 2-1 out of nothing. The party turned to a wake, and yet Liverpool were still winning. Anyone would have taken a goal lead over Madrid at that stage.
A big issue for this team is how it's also easily drained of belief, with too many punch-drunk players who get nervy.
Someone who isn't, Ibrahima Konaté, remains badly missed, as he has been for large chunks of the season. Gomez and Joël Matip are making too many errors, and for all his great keeping, Alisson is currently doing the same. Konaté will be a key part of the next Liverpool side, with pace, power, size and young enough to not be anywhere near his peak yet.
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