One moment from £120k-p/w Liverpool player had Steve McManaman’s blood boiling last night

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Steve McManaman was unimpressed with a ‘lazy’ moment from one Liverpool player during the futile win over Atalanta in Bergamo on Thursday night.

The Reds won 1-0 in Italy but never truly looked like salvaging a Europa League tie which was ultimately put beyond their reach in a costly 0-3 first leg defeat at Anfield a week ago.

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Speaking on co-commentary for TNT Sports, the ex-LFC winger was annoyed at Cody Gakpo when, after being moved to the left wing in the second half, the 24-year-old tried to backheel a ball through two opposition players to the onrushing Andy Robertson, only to lose possession and see the home side break up the pitch.

Upon viewing that passage of play, McManaman raged (via TBR Football): “That was Gakpo giving the ball away, with a lazy flick in midfield. Liverpool have to be so much more careful because the way Atalanta play, you will be punished.”

READ MORE: ‘If you look…’ – Ex-Liverpool duo were left raging over first-half moment v Atalanta

READ MORE: Klopp may be quietly satisfied with one part of Liverpool’s night despite Europa League exit

That passage of play perhaps summed up Gakpo’s night against Atalanta – while the £120,000-per-week Dutchman diligently dropped deep into midfield and troubled the opposition at times with his running, ultimately he didn’t do enough when he had the ball.

As per Sofascore, he completed just 17 passes out of 24 attempted (71% success) during his 90 minutes on the pitch and didn’t record a shot all night, while his tally of 17 losses of possession was the third-highest among the Liverpool team.

That moment when he audaciously tried to play the ball to Robertson was overly casual and not what the Reds needed when they were still in search of two goals in the final half-hour of the tie.

While Gakpo most certainly shouldn’t be the fall guy for his side’s gross underperformance throughout both legs of the quarter-final – he was actually one of our better players in the thrashing at Anfield – errors of judgement like the one which enraged McManaman summed up LFC’s sloppiness.

It’s something that Jurgen Klopp’s side will need to correct in their final six games of the season if they’re to give the manager a happy send-off to his time at Liverpool next month.

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