Jason Conti believes Liverpool are no longer an “absolutely sensational” team after making Jurgen Klopp’s midfield job “disappear”. He claims the Reds lack the intensity they once had.
The Anfield side are now gearing up for their second awardless season in the last five seasons after exiting the Champions League. Klopp steered Liverpool out of the UEFA competition on Wednesday after the Merseyside natives were thrashed 6-2 on aggregate.
Liverpool face the daunting task of advancing to the quarter-finals after losing 5-2 to Real Madrid in the first leg at Anfield. But the Premier League side have rarely been able to surprise their La Liga rivals in the Spanish capital. Instead, they lost 1-0 away.
Liverpool’s midfield under fire as intensity in Klopp’s side fades
Before the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup were out of the Champions League, Liverpool were out of reach. Klopp’s side are sixth in the top flight after 26 games, 24 points behind leaders Arsenal. They are also six points adrift of the top four.
Meanwhile, Brighton and Hove Albion knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup 2-1 in the fourth round. It marked the Seagulls’ second victory over the Anfield club in all competitions in 15 days. The South Coast side have also just beaten the Merseysiders 3-0 in the top flight.
Meanwhile, City beat the Reds 3-2 in December’s Carabao Cup last-16 tie. Now, Liverpool’s only remaining goal is to reach the top four of the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League. The last time the Reds failed to qualify was in 2016/17.
Candy feels defeat at Real Madrid could now mark the end of an era at Anfield
Since failing to qualify last time, Liverpool have reached three Champions League finals and won once. They also won the Premier League in 2019/20, recovered from an injury-plagued 2020/21 and lifted the FA and Carabao Cups in 2021/22.
However, former Chelsea defender Conti believes their defeat at Real Madrid could mark the end of an era at Anfield. He sees Liverpool’s performance as proof that Klopp’s midfielders are no longer up to the task, as they can no longer destroy the club with the intensity they once did.
“Midfield, now, high intensity [and] Liverpool’s turbo start is gone,” Candy told talk about sports“They got off to a good start in the first 20 minutes.
“They would spread on you like a rash, trap you all over the pitch, squeeze you, energize you, put you under pressure, get the first goal and the second goal – that’s gone.
“I saw Liverpool two or three years ago in the Champions League and they were absolutely sensational. They’re not like that anymore, that energy is gone. Same team, it’s not there.”
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