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Basel 1, Liverpool 0: First Thoughts

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Liverpool were abject in defeat in Switzerland.

Jamie McDonald

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Basel 1 Streller 52'
Liverpool 0

  • Steven Gerrard's miscontrol gave Basel an earlier opportunity just after ten minutes far too deep in his own half but the game up to that point was one where quick breaks on the flanks would give either team most joy. The pace of Mohamed Elneny and Breel Embolo for Basel as well as the speed of Raheem Sterling and Lazar Marković looked to be the biggest threats in the first half. Beware of the channels!

  • A key development was the early substitution for Basel and settled the home side.Liverpool were finding gaps in the opening few minutes but Derlis González for the injured Behrang Safari signalled an improvement. Managerial sorcery from head coach Paulo Sousa? Basel threatened especially down Liverpool's left with José Enrique struggling considerably.

  • The first half was full of lots of running from both sides but it wasn't the best half for any observers. Numerous poor decisions in the final third, counter attack opportunities wasted, general indecision, poor positioning, careless passing, and frequent needless turnovers. Liverpool or Basel would need to do more to win the game even if Basel were slightly better overall in quite a useless game.

  • Another Basel corner and a goal for Marco Streller. The goal looked as terrible as it felt for Liverpool supporters. Horrible set-piece defending. Martin Skrtel needed to do a lot better with his positioning for the goal but Liverpool have a problem with defending set-pieces.

  • Liverpool went behind with virtually 40 minutes left to do something and while there was more space in the last half hour. Liverpool continued to look unlikely to score a goal. The opposition were average but continued to trouble another English side.

  • There were numerous poor performances in Swizterland, including the manager. Keeping Raheem Sterling on for the full match was pure folly and the sloppiness in the teenager's final third play was remarkable. He looked so frustrated and it's difficult to blame him considering the circumstances. Marković struggled but showed more in this match than previous matches while Philippe Coutinho (not as bad as many of his teammates) and Mario Balotelli (extremely frustrated against Basel's defence) were poor. Enrique thought this was the qualifying rounds for the Intertoto Cup by his showing and Steven Gerrard was just overhwelmed physically when ever Basel broke. Jordan Henderson huffed but his passes were too heavy, keeping in line with the rest of the team. Javi Manquillo wasn't great either. Dejan Lovren did okay, ditto Mignolet. The rest? Must do better.

  • Liverpool look like a side that Real Madrid could use a toothpick on this showing and must drastically improve if a hammering is to be avoided in the double header against the holders.

  • That was horrifically, desperately, and depressingly poor.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.