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Christian Benteke will be the reason Liverpool don't qualify for the Champions League

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Getting three points is the most crucial thing in one single game of course, but quality is ultimately what determines the final position a team will finish at the end of the season.

To the supporters’ joy, the Reds completed the first and prime mission by securing a 1-0 win away from home against Sunderland on Wednesday night, putting them only five points behind the Champions League position.

However, it was not a performance from which Jurgen Klopp could derive much optimism about his side’s top four hopes.

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Two dreadful missed chances from Jordon Ibe and Christian Benteke could have put the game to bed were particular causes for concern, but limited combinations produced among the attackers and sloppy mistakes at both ends would have also given Klopp a few headaches.

Quality is still missing from the final third. And once again, getting a second goal to secure the win proved to be the hardest target for the Merseyside outfit.

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Christian Benteke’s 63% pass success rate demonstrated his inability to link up with his teammates - accompanied with Roberto Firmino’s lack of skills as a playmaker - accounted for the Reds’ uninspiring offensive display in the game. But at the end of the day, scoring goals bring you the wins and the points to pave a way to the Champions League.

Despite scoring the winning goal in two consecutive games, one has to ask that how many clear goalscoring opportunities Liverpool's big front man has squandered this season.

The first glaring miss occurred in Liverpool’s 4 -1 triumph over Manchester City. Jordon Ibe’s through ball perfectly found Christian Benteke with wide open space and no defender but the goalkeeper in front of him in the 79th minute.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League

But the Belgian mysteriously slowed down and was almost waiting for City’s men to catch up with him, which then forced him to push the ball to a narrower angle and his unspectacular shot was blocked by Joe Hart.

The 25-year-old surpassed that miss with an even worse one last Saturday when his side was up against Leicester City. With goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel out of the picture after trying to force an equaliser for his side in the last minute, Benteke was still not clinical or skilful enough to finish in the open goal.

Unfortunately, it’s plain to see that Liverpool number nine's finishing would continue to be questioned after his poor touch of the ball and straightforward shot prevented him from converting yet another one-on-one chance in the closing stages against Sunderland.

Sunderland v Liverpool - Premier League

Vito Mannone didn't need to do much to deny Benteke after his predictable finish was of no skill and imagination.

A prolific and consistent striker like Javier Hernandez is essential for any ambitious side. On the other hand, forwards with sufficient technique and passing accuracy like Olivier Giroud are also capable of providing the required link-up play that can penetrate any quality back four.

If Christian Benteke fails to develop and improve in neither aspect, Klopp will have no choice but to look for a suitable replacement.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Christian Benteke
Premier League
Football

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