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Pundit’s Choice: Liverpool’s CL loss to Red Star Belgrade

Pundit’s Choice: Liverpool’s CL loss to Red Star Belgrade

Liverpool supporters have been pretty quiet in recent times after seeing their Champions League qualification hopes dashed somewhat on Tuesday night.

Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their meeting with Red Star Belgrade in the healthy position of top spot in Group C having picked up six points from their opening three matches, and thus hoping to take another step closer towards the last 16 with another victory on Tuesday night. Yet the Reds produced a very poor performance to go down 2-0 in the Serbian capital, with Milan Pavkov bagging a brace to instigate Liverpool’s fall to second place in the group.

Thus, there have been many despondent Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Tim Sherwood, who has offered a reason for the Reds’ ‘sluggish’ display against Red Star on Tuesday night, namely that they may have had a ‘hangover’ following the Arsenal clash on Saturday.

And the former Aston Villa and Tottenham definitely has a point given just how intense the match was against Unai Emery’s Gunners at the weekend.

Ultimately, the Reds were involved in a very absorbing encounter with the North London giants at the weekend in drawing 1-1 at the Emirates Stadium, a high-tempo match which saw both teams produce some excellent, free-flowing attacking football in what was a great advert for the Premier League.

And while the late Alexandre Lacazette equaliser would likely have deflated the visitors given they were on course for all three points, the physical and mental exertion of a match that engrossing was surely going to take its toll on Tuesday night.

And while making wholesale changes can sometimes disrupt the balance of the squad and indeed the momentum of the team as a whole, one could argue that Klopp needed to be slightly shrewder with the changes he made against Red Star, as one could have certainly made a case for Trent Alexander-Arnold and even Mohamed Salah to lose their place.

The former endured a tricky evening against Arsenal on Saturday and didn’t fare much better in the first half on Tuesday night, prompting Klopp to replace him with Joe Gomez at half time, while Egypt international Salah hasn’t looked himself for much of the campaign so far, and may well have benefited from time out of the side – yet both got the nod.

Ultimately, Klopp has so far done a great job of rotating his team to meet the varying demands of the season so far, hence the Reds’ excellent start to the campaign, but the fatigue from Saturday could well have been part of the reason for the ‘sluggish’ display against Red Star on Tuesday.

Thus, Sherwood’s point that Liverpool ‘suffered’ from the Arsenal game certainly carries weight.

Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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