Liverpool faced Bayern Munich on Tuesday night in what appeared to be one of the most exciting fixtures of the year on paper, however in reality, it was anything but.
With the home side missing the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and the Joe Gomez, and the Bayern looking like they couldn’t buy a clean-sheet in recent matches, there was every chance this could have been the “blockbuster” Jurgen Klopp predicted (via The Guardian).
However, it was Bayern who were going to call the shots on this tie. They wanted the advantage going into the next fixture and they got it. Using all the experience throughout their side, the visitors nullified the strengths of Liverpool, building from the back with typical efficiency, scantly looking forced, there was no sign of nor opportunity for Liverpool’s trademark counter-attacking play.
Sadio Mane squandered one of the few clear-cut chances to give his side the advantage whilst his teammates contributed a succession of poorly placed balls, to the crowd’s behest.
As we have learnt, if you keep Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah quiet then you have already won half the battle and Bayern did extremely well to keep the pair on a leash throughout the match.
Bayern’s forwards had a few attempts themselves but rarely broke rank from the rest of the side
With Liverpool so wasteful in front of goal you’ve got to say Sadio Mane deserves mention for all the wrong reasons.
Energy and effort only get you so far and Sadio Mane, though energetic, had ample opportunity to give his team the lead and change the complexion of the second-leg.
He needed to take advantage of one of the more clear-cut chances in the game after Keita’s shot deflected over Sule into his path, but he failed to do. He then proceeded to try make amends very an audacious overhead kick which, predictably, didn’t result in a goal.
Firmino and Salah also deserve mention for their absent presence in the forward positions.
May live to regret this result.