Time is running out for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool

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Liverpool's loss to rivals Manchester United on Saturday further condemned Brendan Rodgers' position as manager, with rumours circulating that his time on Merseyside is quickly running out.

Not only did the Reds convincingly lose against their oldest rivals 3-1, but the performance of the team has got many Liverpool fans scratching their heads at the Northern Irishman's poor team selection and tactical shortcomings.

Liverpool were ultimately doomed from the start - the way they were set up was completely wrong. Leaving Benteke up front alone simply did not work. The big Belgian thrives upon having bodies around him, and with summer signings Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino both hugging their respective touchlines, this did not happen.

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The 24-year-old had a terrible game other than his quite stunning bicycle kick - the one bright spark in an abject performance that will not do much to convince sceptical Liverpool fans already beginning to question the expensive acquisition. 

With the midfield trio of Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho all unavailable with injuries and a suspension respectively, and Daniel Sturridge not risked despite a return to full first-team training, Rodgers had a decision to make.

He chose to play Ings and Firmino, as expected, but not in the 4-4-2 diamond shape that would have seen Firmino thrive centrally behind the strikers, and Benteke able to give Ings something to run on to.

Firmino was starved of the ball and despite showing some nice touches, is clearly not a wide player. Ings worked hard on his full debut, but needs to play centrally with Benteke if he is going to fulfil his potential.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Emre Can and James Milner failed to see enough of the ball, and while steady were certainly not spectacular. Lucas Leiva was clumsy throughout in what looked a tired performance from the Brazilian.

How Liverpool cried out for the creativity and passion of former captain Steven Gerrard, presumably watching on and grimacing whilst having his feet up in sunny Los Angeles.

The Dejan Lovren joke continues, with Rodgers again showing faith in the terribly out-of-form Croatian. Whilst he did nothing wrong against the frankly woeful Marouane Fellaini, Lovren continues to bemuse Liverpool fans with his continued selection.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Mamadou Sakho was at the heart of Liverpool's defence when they won 11 straight games in the middle of last season, and yet has again failed to warrant a place in Rodgers' place in front of the clumsy Lovren.

Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez once more had solid games, aside from the latter conceding a clumsy penalty which killed the game as a contest. Simon Mignolet once again proved that he is a cause for concern, taking unnecessary risks inside his own six-yard area.

Ultimately, Rodgers got it horribly wrong, and was out-thought and out-played by Louis van Gaal and his clinical side, whom converted each of their three shots on target.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

So what next for the Merseyside outfit? You'd say that if Rodgers fails against Bordeaux on Thursday and then takes any less than six points from home games against Norwich and Aston Villa, his time at Anfield could well be up.

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