Toulouse 3 – 2 Liverpool: The Postmortem 

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Reds’ Disappointing Defeat

This was the worst way to get over the disappointing draw at Kenilworth Road last Sunday, as the short trip to France turned into a European horror show. The way in which the opportunity to secure top spot in Group E was given up, was reminiscent of the dark days of last season. A blip cannot become a permanent fixture, as expectations and forward momentum need to be assured.

The line-up is listed below, with subsequent in-match changes, as well as match stats.

The Starting Eleven

  • Caoimhin Kelleher
  • Jarell Quansah
  • Joël Matip
  • Joe Gomez
  • Kostas Tsimikas
  • Wataru Endō
  • Alexis Mac Allister
  • Harvey Elliott
  • Ben Doak
  • Cody Gakpo
  • Luis Díaz

Subs

  • Mohamed Salah – Ben Doak (45 mins)
  • Dominik Szoboszlai – Wataru Endō (45 mins)
  • Trent Alexander Arnold – Kostas Tsimikas (45 mins)
  • Darwin Núñez – Cody Gakpo (73 mins)
  • Diogo Jota – Luis Díaz (81 mins)

Goals

  • Toulouse 1 – 0 Liverpool: Aron Donnum (Kostas Tsimikas) 36 mins
  • Toulouse 2 – 0 Liverpool: Thijs Dallinga (Niaklas Schmidt) 58 mins
  • Toulouse 2 – 1 Liverpool: C.C. Jnr (Own Goal) 74 mins
  • Toulouse 3 – 1 Liverpool: Frank Magri (Gabriel Suazo) 76 mins
  • Toulouse 3 – 2 Liverpool: Diogo Jota (Alexis Mac Allister) 89 mins
  • Disallowed goal – Jarell Quansah – 90+7 mins

Important Match Stats

  • Possession: Toulouse 35% – 65% Liverpool
  • Total Shots: Toulouse 10 – 19 Liverpool

The First Half

The opening period of this match was mundane, to say the least. You got the sense that this Liverpool side were merely there for a friendly match between two teams in alliance, in which the opposition were expected to simply roll over. Without club captain, Virgil van Dijk, on the pitch, the visiting side looked unmotivated and in desperate need of that commanding voice from the back. The likes of Kostas Tsimikas and Wataru Endō were nothing short of awful, whereas most of the rest were way below average. With not a lot happening in the attacking third of Liverpool’s side, it was only Joe Gomez and a select few others who showed real endeavour in a lacklustre first half. It almost became inevitable that this vibrant and very interested Toulouse team would take the lead, essentially given that the Reds had conceded first in eight matches so far this season. Klopp’s Greek left back was caught in possession, before falling over in a slump, to all but end his participation in the match. The inexperienced Quansah then gifted the attacker too much time to get set, before deflecting the ball beyond the helpless Caoimhin Kelleher. This opening half was something we commonly watched last season; therefore, it was always going to see the Reds’ German manager ring the half-time changes.

The Second Half

On resumption of the second half, very little changed, in the mentality stakes that is. It would appear that control was preferred to enthusiasm, as despite some very strong substitutions at the break, the routine of the match-up continued where it had just left off. Some comedy work ethic (or lack thereof) was spreading like a pandemic. Despite our vice-captain, Trent Alexander Arnold, entering the field of play, it was he who probably shone the least. It does appear that so-called lesser value opponents deserve only the bare minimum of effort, from these millionaire stars in red, as a much-deserved second goal had the Toulouse fans up in jubilation. Though an own goal was pulled back to make it 2-1, it would take no time at all for the hapless travellers to gift another goal, as that 2-1 became a rather embarrassing 3-1 scoreline. The only genuine positive of the night was the determination of the incoming substitution, Diogo Jota. This is a man in fine goal-scoring form, as he once more jigged past players before expertly placing the ball into the corner of the net. At this point, I was trying to decide which player was deserving of the lofty score of six out of ten, that would obtain this match’s man of the match award. The former Wolves striker, however, gave hope and in the final moments of this painful Europa League tie, that undue gift should have been realized. A scramble in the French side’s penalty box eventually fell to Jarell Quansah, who was able to force the ball beyond a devastated Toulouse stopper, to take the scores to an unjust 3-3. Though the equalizer flattered this Liverpool side, the fact that it was chalked off for a handball many actions before the goal, was strange at best.

What Are My Final Thoughts…?

To see another shambolic performance is still not hard to believe, unfortunately. Last season’s efforts were horrific at times, which is why it does not surprise me that these types of poor performances are still alive. A regeneration cannot and will not happen without mishaps along the way, no matter how good Liverpool 2.0 can appear at times. The squad has limitations that are at times glaring, which will need at least two more transfer windows to navigate through.

Brentford arrive at Anfield this Sunday for Gameweek 12, with three points all that matters for this week.

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