Owen Hargreaves has accused Liverpool of lacking pace without their injured stars, after the Reds were defeated at home to Brighton midweek, as reported by Optus Sport.
The club’s latest tie was their first back-to-back loss at home since 2012, with the side struggling once more against a well-organised defence.
“Liverpool, what made them so amazing was the tempo, those transitions, the intensity. It wasn’t there today,” the former United man said. “There is no pace in the Liverpool side. None.”
“The pass and the run need to be perfect. The midfield (are) all really good players (but) there is no pace in there. Firmino is not quick, Shaqiri is not quick,” Hargreaves added. “Mo Salah is the only one who really wants to get in behind.”
Having a number of key fixtures of the squad out of action has undeniably had a knock-on effect for Jurgen Klopp’s men throughout the pitch.
It’s not simply a matter of losing defensive integrity in the backline, with Liverpool missing starting centre-back duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, not to mention backups in Joel Matip and Fabinho.
Not having such players available has taken its toll further afield, with Klopp forced to drag back Jordan Henderson into the the back four and not rotate his fullbacks or other key remaining starters.
Fatigue is rife within this squad at the moment, but the German hardly has the options available to rest the players who desperately need it without further negatively impacting the intensity of his side.
Hargreaves is correct to point out what we’re missing, but it’s worth remembering that we would not be in the position we find ourselves today had the squad not been blighted by a ridiculous injury list.