The manner in which Liverpool lost the first leg of their Europa League semi-final clash against Villarreal angered pretty much every Kopite on the planet.
The score was 0-0 as the game entered injury time. A scoreless draw would have been an ideal result to take into next week’s return leg at Anfield.
But Liverpool switched off in the 92nd minute and when a counter-attack broke down, they were unable to prevent Adrian Lopez capitalising on some poor defending to score the winner.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
The goal frustrated Jurgen Klopp, who couldn’t understand why his players were pushing forward so late on, and Jamie Carragher’s assessment perfectly summed up the thoughts of Liverpool’s fans.
The ex-Red won the Champions League during his time at Anfield in 2005, Liverpool’s last success in a European tournament. But their hopes of ending an 11-year wait for European success was dealt a blow in rather disappointing fashion.
Carragher, watching on, tweeted: “Unforgivable to lose a goal on the counter attack in last minute of a European away game.”
Conceding in injury time is one thing, but conceding through a counter-attack is another.
The result means Liverpool require another comeback to reach the final. Though the task isn’t nearly as formidable as the one they faced at half-time in the second leg of their quarter-final clash against Borussia Dortmund, where they trailed the Germans 3-1 on aggregate, Lopez’s goal could prove to be massive.
If Villarreal score, the Reds require three goals to have a chance of progressing.
Yet Carragher remains optimistic that, in front of a raucous Anfield crowd, Klopp’s men can get the job done.
“Still fancy us to go through,” he added.
So too does Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. The Belgian thinks the atmosphere inside Anfield, which is bound to be electric, can inspire the Reds to victory.
“It’s still there to play for at home at Anfield,” Mignolet said, per Liverpool’s website. “With the supporters behind us at Anfield there’s always some magic in the air.
“It will be close until the end – there won’t be many goals in it. They are tough to break down and difficult to create [against]. But we had some chances.
“It’s still there to play for at home with the fans behind us. We have scored a lot of goals since Christmas so why not again?”
The Reds scored four goals against Dortmund - in the second half. Nobody’s doubting their ability to find the net but it’s at the other end of the pitch where Klopp should be concerned.
Kolo Toure played in Mamadou Sakho’s absence, the defender out after being handed a 30-day suspension as UEFA investigate his doping case, and the Ivorian was caught out for Lopez’s goal.
Carragher’s view that the goal was “unforgivable” will be proven true if Liverpool don’t win next week.