29 Apr 2016

'They were poor': Macca slates 'average' £27m attacking-duo and makes bold Liverpool claim

After Thursday's 1-0 Europa League defeat at Villareal, Liverpool have it all to do in next Thursday's second-leg, but according to Anfield legend Steve McManaman, the Reds have nothing to fear against their Spanish conquerors.

Analysing the game for BT Sport, Macca mused:

"I don't think they were very good. They [Villareal] were poor, I know they’ve won, but there’s nothing to fear for Liverpool. [Roberto] Soldado and [Cedric] Bakambu^ were average. Liverpool should run all over them at Anfield".

In my view, this is typically arrogant pro-LFC bias. Fellow pundit Michael Owen also trashed Villareal, and both made it sound like Liverpool just need to turn up next week to ensure victory.

Villareal are in the semi-finals for a reason, and they beat Liverpool for a reason: they're an excellent, defensively organised team, and denigrating them in this fashion spectacularly short-sighted.

If Liverpool's players approach the second-leg with a similarly hubristic attitude, then the team will almost certainly be dumped out of the competition.

As history proves, it's not always the most exciting, talented team that wins the big games. Look at Greece at Euro 2004; Chelsea winning the Champions League in 2012, or even Liverpool (as underdogs) in 2005.

I'm quietly confident that Liverpool will prevail next Thursday, but the team will have to earn the victory; it won't just be handed to Klopp on a silver platter by the Anfield crowd, and as Newcastle proved last weekend, Anfield is (often) very far from being a 'fortress'.

* Bakambu: £15m-rated. Soldado: Cost £12m

Author: Jaimie K


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