Even taking into account that Liverpool’s Champions League task against Real Madrid was always going to be an uphill struggle, going out of European football’s premier competition with just a whimper isn’t acceptable.
Alisson Becker aside, there was nothing in that performance from many of the Reds major stars that was ever going to trouble Los Blancos.
It’s been the story of Liverpool’s season domestically too. Don’t let the 7-0 rout of Manchester United help to form a judgement either.
For most of the 2022/23 campaign Jurgen Klopp has overseen a seriously underperforming bunch of pros, so maybe the good times and success came too quickly for some of them.
Virgil van Dijk, once a towering centre-back who was rarely beaten at the back, is now a shadow of his former self and doesn’t command the same authority at the heart of the Liverpool defence.
Mo Salah is another to have not hit the heights this season, and whilst the odd poor game here or there is to be expected, dipping below their normal level on such a regular basis suggests there’s something up at Anfield.
The Egyptian King has gone from being a Premier League top scorer to finding himself currently as only the sixth best marksman in the division, per BBC Sport, and a whopping 17 goals behind trailblazer, Erling Haaland.
Perhaps recruitment hasn’t been as on point as in past seasons too but the fact remains that Liverpool are well off the pace and will end the season without any silverware as a result.
The performance in the Santiago Bernabeu should serve as a watershed moment for a number of players and the only question now is whether Klopp has the strength of character to replace some of his tried and trust generals who have, unfortunately, allowed themselves to get far too comfortable and taken their eye off the ball.
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