To their credit, they held on for a long time, with Louie Barry cancelling out Sadio Mane’s early goal. But, in the space of about five minutes, Liverpool just turned it on and took the game away from them, running out as 4-1 victors.
Jürgen Klopp was fairly honest about the occasion, recognising Liverpool’s superiority but admitting the struggles against a much weakened opponent.
“The kids did really well - that’s good”, he told BT Sport, as reported by BBC Sport. We had football problems. We needed a little bit longer but then it was completely clear.
“[There were] problems in passing and moving. Too many on the wrong side of the ball - not enough recoveries of passes. We had chances and shot the ball directly at the goalie - we changed it in the second half.
“It was rusty but better in the second half. Against Southampton [1-0 defeat] from the first second they were more on the pitch but that was not the case today.”
Speaking a little of the challenges in putting out a strong side in the coming game against Manchester United, the manager explained that “we have a lot players with no rhythm. We will do a lot of 11 v 11 training.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. “No rhythm”. That’s what watching Liverpool in recent weeks has felt like. I don’t know how this is fixed, but the Reds have got to find some kind of tempo soon. Or else the season could slip away pretty quickly.