Jamie Carragher tears into ‘shambolic’ Liverpool as pundit slams ‘nonsense’ Klopp claims after Real Madrid humbling
Jamie Carragher had several choice words for Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp after what he branded as an “embarrassing” and “shambolic” 5-2 defeat at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
The Reds have struggled badly this season, but there were green shoots of recovery in their two most recent games. Indeed, those back-to-back Premier League wins had moved Liverpool up to eighth in the table and just seven points adrift of the top four.
However, any hope that they could win some silverware this season have seemingly come to an abrupt halt by just the third week in February. And for a side that came close to winning the Quadruple last season, the 2022/23 season marks a new low for the Reds.
Liverpool had missed out on Champions League glory just nine months ago when Real beat them 1-0 in the Paris final. But Tuesday evening’s round of 16 first leg at Anfield was a very different story with Carlo Ancelotti’s side absolutely destroying the Merseysiders.
After the game, a shellshocked Klopp reflected on a moment in the game which was ‘obviously not OK’, also branding one of his players ‘slapstick’.
As it went, Liverpool started like a train, racing into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah.
However, that only seemed to provoke Real Madrid into action. And goals from Vinicius Junior (two), Eder Militao and Karim Benzema (two) as good as confirmed the reigning champions’ place in the quarter-finals.
For Liverpool, though, the result served as another reminder at just how badly they are struggling.
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Carragher destroys Liverpool, Klopp after Real Madrid defeat
Discussing the display afterwards on CBS Sports, Carragher tore into his former side.
“I must say, what a performance by Real Madrid, to come to Anfield and do that. I’ve never seen a team come to Anfield like that on a European night and destroy Liverpool,” he said.
But the former Liverpool defender insisted the Reds were their own worst enemies and did not mince his words in scrutinising the loss.
“That was shambolic from Liverpool. Embarrassing.
“We’ve made excuses for them all season and said there’s reasons why they’re not doing as well as they have done in previous seasons. But that was a disgrace that second half.”
Liverpool have now conceded a huge 46 goals in all competitions this season. And bemoaning a perceived lack of fight, Carragher was raging.
“To not even have a chance, to not show any fight after the goals go in, and to lose that second half 3-0 when you’re attacking the Kop at 2-2 in a knockout game – absolutely shambolic. I’m talking about defensively shambolic all season.”
Carragher was also unhappy with Klopp’s claims that wins over Everton and Newcastle illustrated Liverpool were back.
“It was nonsense to say that Liverpool were back after two games – that’s why I was cautious before the game.
“They played against an Everton team who put in one of the worst performances I’ve seen in a derby game – they did nothing.
“I was at the Newcastle game as well – Newcastle had 10 men and created chances. If Newcastle had had 11 men they’d have got back to 2-2, I’m convinced of that, because Liverpool all season have been an absolute shambles defensively.”
Not just Liverpool midfield to blame
Plenty of focus this season has been placed on Liverpool’s struggles in midfield. Their need to strengthen there is obvious, though Carragher suggests it is not the only part of the Reds team that needs a rethink.
Having conceded just 48 goals in all of last season, they are now just two shy of that total, with at least 17 games left to play.
“This team had a great defensive record last season but we know the midfield doesn’t have the energy anymore,” he said. “The attacking players in the front three don’t press with the cohesion that was there before, with [Roberto] Firmino and [Sadio] Mane. They’re new to it, Nunez and [Cody] Gakpo.
“So this Liverpool defence now, who we’ve been told for years have got some of the best players in the world, can’t cope.
“For years they’ve had six in front of them who’ve probably worked harder and smarter than any other team in world football. But now that’s gone, it’s completely fallen apart.
“As a Liverpool fan, we absolutely adore this manager and team and they’ve done so much for this club in the last four or five years. It hurts you to say anything negative because they’ve given you so much, but Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League and they’ve just been battered 5-2 in the Champions League.
“I know it’s Real Madrid but these are the two teams that were in the final last year. It’s not acceptable what we’re watching this season.
“We keep looking for reasons and excuses but it’s nowhere near good enough.”
Liverpool travel to Crystal Palace in their next game on Saturday evening hoping to get back on track.
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