Liverpool's bench options against Crystal Palace were thin, and manager Jürgen Klopp didn't have many options for changing the game as the second half wore on and Crystal Palace began to grow into the match. Still, changes needed to be made.
At least according to ex-Red Jamie Carragher, who was far from pleased about Klopp's personnel stubbornness when he made his weekly appearance on Sky's Monday Night Football yesterday, making a point that will have many Reds fans nodding along.
"There's no winger in the ranks without Sadio Mané," Carragher noted, but even that he said isn't an excuse to not make a change when the game seems to demand it. "But I was critical in commentary about the lack of any change from the bench.
"You have to give Palace something to think about. You have to try to stretch the back four. Changes were only made when it was 2-1 and by then it was too late. It's disappointing. When a team comes to do a job on [Liverpool] they find it very difficult."
It can be easy to be critical after the fact, but with a young, inexperienced bench it did appear that Klopp was resisting making a change at a time when changed seemed necessary, and bringing Ben Woodburn or Trent Alexander-Arnold on did seem the obvious call.
Either change would have given Liverpool speed and width to challenge Palace, to maybe keep them defensively honest at a time when they were beginning to press forward. But no change was made and Palace pressed and then Palace scored.
Liverpool's opponents managed just two good chances on Sunday and scored on both, and both felt somewhat inevitable when they did arrive. They felt inevitable because it felt as though change was needed for Liverpool and that change was never made.
Now, Liverpool will have to prepare to face Watford knowing that every game they play the rest of the way is a must win—and that even if they do win them all, they may not finish in the top four and qualify for next season's Champions League.