PSG Throws Cold Water on the 'Pool
Jürgen Klopp was almost at a loss for words.
That's not as damaging as Liverpool being at a loss for points at the Parc des Princes, but it's almost as startling.
Both Klopp and the squad he now manages usually get up for pivotal matches like this Group C clash with so much at stake, as in securing a spot in the Champions League bracket.
Instead, dudes were flatter than a crêpe in a ridiculous 2-1 loss to Paris St-Germain.
This was a crucial win for PSG, who now need a mere point on the road at tail-dragger Red Star Belgrade to advance.
Dude helped get the party started in the 13th minute when he took possession on the left-wing and crossed it into the box. Virgil van Dijk intercepted it, but the rebound fell to Juan Bernat, who beat Joe Gomez with low effort from close-range straight to the bottom corner past Alisson Becker, who basically had a great view of it:
Liverpool woke up after that, but they still couldn't threaten Gianluigi Buffon with much of consequence.
PSG's defense was impeccable, constantly denying the Reds' any opportunity in the box.
In the 37th minute, Les Parisiens doubled the lead.
Mbappé and Neymar combined for a formidable give and go, and the French international then low-crossed it to Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan striker closed in on Alisson, but while the Brazilian 'keeper denied him, the rebound fell to his countryman.
For the most part, Liverpool still couldn't find space in PSG defense, but an opening finally arose on the cusp of halftime.
Sadio Mané got the ball on the left side and was fouled by Angel di Maria inside the box. Initially, the referee conceded only a corner for the Merseysiders, but after a word from one of his auxiliaries, he pointed to the spot.
James Milner stepped up and sent Buffon the wrong way:
After the break, PSG neutralized damn near everything the 'Pool tried -- with their dive-&-delay tactics roundly criticized by Klopp -- and even thought they earned some insurance in the 48th minute.
However, a Marquinhos header was disallowed for offside.
The rest of the match was a push.
The X in this case only means advancement to the Europa League bracket is assured. This group's results are going down to the wire, with final matches played on Tue 11 Dec.
Here's where the Reds stand:
- A 1-0 victory in Naples -- no easy task -- sends them through on the basis of goals scored.
- A win by two or more goals will do it, courtesy of a better head-to-head record.
- However, a 2-1 or 3-2 win send them home because Napoli will have scored an away goal or goals and will progress on the head-to-head record.
Nothing's simple. Dudes just know they've gotta win.