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5 things we learned from Spartak Moscow vs Liverpool: Same problems strike again

Liverpool picked up a point from trip to Moscow, but a host of missed chances saw Jurgen Klopp's side fail to show their ruthlessness in front of goal.

There is always something to talk about when Liverpool are playing and last night’s 1-1 draw with Spartak Moscow in Group E of the Champions League left more questions than answers after a string of chances were missed by the mis-firing Liverpool attackers.

Whilst the defensive frailties that have been evident for a while were absent, Klopp brought in goalkeeper Loris Karius and his judgement can be questioned for Spartak’s goal.

A point on the road is not the worst result, but they will need a win in their next group game against Maribor.

Here are five things we learned from the Otkrytie Arena.

  1. 1 Mo Salah is the go-to guy

    There were a lot of questions asked about Jurgen Klopp's decision to spend  €42 million on the Egyptian attacking midfielder after his spell at Chelsea was deemed unsuccessful and he was shipped out to Roma.

    Those questions have since been answered, however, and Salah's performance in driving the Liverpool attack against Spartak Moscow was top class and he deserved to come out with more than a draw from the game.

    Salah had a great chance to win the game in the final minute, but his header was denied by a great one-handed save from Aleksandr Selikhov. 

    Salah has linked up well with Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane this season and they were all thrust into the starting line-up as Klopp's side went on the attack, but could not secure the points.

  2. 2 Liverpool aren't ruthless enough

    A common theme that came up last week after they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Leicester City returned to haunt them last night as they wasted a host of chances to take all three points.

    Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Daniel Sturridge were all guilty of wasting good chances and if Liverpool want to progress in this competition, they need to be picking up points when they are on top. 

    We have to be more clinical - 100% - Jurgen Klopp

    Their Champions League campaign is now under threat following two draws in their opening two games, but the fault is all theirs after their forwards missed a host of chances in the 2-2 draw with Sevilla in Week 1.

    Klopp will be worried that his side are not taking their chances when presented and with the defensive problems well documented, the last thing the under pressure German manager needs is for his side to be mis-firing.

  3. 3 Liverpool need a regular goalscorer

    For the most part, going forward Liverpool have many of the key players in place with the attacking threat of Salah, Firmino, Coutinho and Mane.

    However, none of them are out-and-out goalscorers in the Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler mould and if Liverpool are to not only challenge in Champions League but in the Premier League too, they need to go out and buy a striker that will score goals regularly.

    Daniel Sturridge has the potential, but is not on the field enough to take that place -in truth looking rusty from lack of game time in the Russian capital- and if Coutinho is adamant on leaving, Klopp should consider an offer in January and spend the money wisely on a goalscorer.

  4. 4 'Keeper rotation isn't helpful

    The Liverpool goalkeeping saga remains unresolved and Loris Karius's poor judgement for the Spartak Moscow goal last night was just another notch on the muddled thinking from Jurgen Klopp.

    The chopping and changing between Karius and Mignolet is not helping the Liverpool defence to develop the confidence to know, when their backline is breached, they will be bailed out by the goalkeeper, creating an unhelpful sense of panic.

    Klopp must decide who his main goalkeeper is and stick with him through thick and thin, or at least until they can go out and purchase a new goalkeeper with some of the proceeds of the potential Coutinho sale. 

  5. 5 How much time does Klopp have left?

    The rumours that Klopp is under pressure already should be dispelled quickly as there are few managers around that can command the respect that the eccentric German can.

    Whilst Klopp will know he has made mistakes, namely not sorting his defence out, he has the experience to turn it around and players want to play for him. 

    A couple of well thought out purchases in January could see the side transformed.

    They have enough quality in the number ten position, potentially able to sell one which could fund moves for a goalkeeper, striker and a central defender that could get them into contention for trophies.

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Andy Moore

Freelance Sports Media Professional with experience writing for both print and digital. Sports all-rounder that has a good knowledge of lots of sports and have a Masters in Sports Journalism from Staffordshire University.

Also currently on the Board of Directors at Derby County Ladies, a semi-professional women's side in the UK and keen follower of women's sport.

  • Jonathan

    It’s not can they ít’s will they? Maybe they should play Mane through the middle or/and buy out of favour Aguero.

5 things we learned from Spartak Moscow vs Liverpool: Same problems strike again

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