Jamie Carragher Blasts Woeful Liverpool
23 February 2023
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Liverpool slumped to a 5-2 defeat at home to Real Madrid in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday; European exit would all but end Liverpool’s hopes of winning a trophy this season;

“That was shambolic from Liverpool – embarrassing,” says Jamie Carragher.

Jamie Carragher has branded Liverpool’s performance in their 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid on Tuesday as “embarrassing” and “shambolic”.

Liverpool took a 2-0 lead in their Champions League last-16 first leg through Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah after just 14 minutes, but conceded five goals at Anfield in a European game for the first time on their way to a heavy defeat.

Jurgen Klopp’s side played Real in the final in Paris just nine months ago but they face exiting the competition at the first knockout round as their disappointing season took another downward turn.

Tim Sherwood says Liverpool only have the target of finishing in the Premier League’s top four after a heavy defeat to Real Madrid
Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League and already out of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup – the two trophies they won last season – while they have now conceded 46 goals in all competitions this term.

Speaking to CBS, Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher said: “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.”

But the former Liverpool defender added: “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.

“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.”

‘It was nonsense to say Liverpool were back’
Liverpool went into the meeting with Real after back-to-back wins over Everton and Newcastle, prompting Klopp to suggest his side had recovered their form at just the right time.

But Carragher believes those claims were premature, saying: “It was nonsense to say that Liverpool were back after two games – that’s why I was cautious before the game.

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Liverpool’s win against Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday – their most recent game before being thrashed by Real Madrid.

“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 midfield to blame’
Liverpool only conceded 48 goals in the whole of last season and Carragher says the blame for his former side almost matching their total from the previous campaign by February must be shared throughout the side.

“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.

“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.”

‘I’d take Van Dijk’s place at the moment’
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Virgil van Dijk told Gary Neville on The Overlap in November that Jamie Carragher would not get into the current Liverpool squad.

Speaking to Sky Sports’ Gary Neville on The Overlap in November, Virgil van Dijk claimed Carragher – who played 737 times for Liverpool – would not get into the current squad.

But Carragher shot back at the centre-back – who played the entire game as Real romped to victory at Anfield – saying: “What makes me laugh is Virgil van Dijk said I wouldn’t get in that back four about two months ago.

“I think I’d take his place at the moment. We keep talking about the midfield players Liverpool need – and I think that’s right – but Liverpool need defenders as well. When they get exposed, they can’t defend.”- Sky Sports