Liverpool legend Steve Nicol has blasted Reds goalkeeper Adrian for his costly error that played a part in the club’s dramatic exit from the Champions League.
Having turned their last 16 tie against Atletico Madrid around through Roberto Firmino’s extra-time goal, Jurgen Klopp‘s team then conceded three quickfire goals as the Spanish side advanced into the quarter-finals.
Adrian – in for Alisson Becker after the Brazilian’s hip injury – was at fault for Marcos Llorente’s first goal after his hacked clearance went straight to the visitors.
Speaking to ESPN FC, Nicol concluded that any questions still surrounding Liverpool’s decision to splash out on Alisson have now been answered.
“Do you know what? If anybody ever questions why you spend £66million on a goalkeeper, you just saw it tonight,” he said.
“Liverpool were 2-0 up in the tie in extra time. They’re through, if they don’t lose a goal, they’re through.
“So yes, they could have finished it off earlier, but the fact is they lost the game because of the goalie. They’re through at 2-0, we keep going back to the same thing, they’re through at 2-0.
“Without the goalkeeper giving the first goal away, Liverpool go through.
“Atletico Madrid, other than the first minute of the game, never looked like scoring, never got near the goal, absolutely nowhere near it, complete and utter dominance, complete and utter total control.
“[But] because one guy then gets involved and makes a mess of it, that’s why they’re out. You cannot look at it any other way.
“We can complain about missed chances – the fact is they were through with a clean sheet and the goalkeeper for the second time in three years has blown it for them.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted that while he was delighted with his side’s performance, he failed to understand Diego Simeone’s defensive tactics.
Simeone was praised for his approach by many but Michael Owen branded such acclaim for the Argentine as “nonsense”.
Liverpool return to action on Monday when they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Merseyside Derby.