Five big calls Brendan Rodgers got very wrong against Basel last night

The Liverpool boss made a long list of mistakes in the Champions League yesterday.

1. Joe Allen

Liverpool's last 15 minutes against FC Basel last night filled the club with hope. It was a superb period of play full of spirit, inspired by the one and only Steven Gerrard and representative of the kind of display Liverpool have traditionally put in in Europe.

But that was 15 minutes. For the rest of the Anfield outfit's Champions League campaign, the side were poor beyond belief. Against Basel, Liverpool's first-half performance was unacceptable. And boss Brendan Rodgers deserves plenty of blame for playing two holding midfielders - one of which was Joe Allen. What exactly did he bring to the party?

2. Glen Johnson

Another man that should never have gotten near the Reds' starting line-up on such a huge occasion was Glen Johnson. Naturally, it was the right-back's error that led to the Basel goal, while the rest of his performance was typically disappointing.

It puzzles most Liverpool fans as to exactly why Rodgers puts his faith repeatedly into the 30-year-old. Right now, the arrogance the Northern Irishman is showing in continually playing despite knowing full well that he is not good enough is dangerous.

3. Jose Enrique

A similar mistake was made on the opposite flank, with Jose Enrique's performance widely panned at left-back. Liverpool needed to throw the kitchen sink at Basel and Alberto Moreno was the perfect man for that scenario. Rodgers' failure to start him meant he had to use one of substitutions at half-time to fix an area he shouldn't have had to.

4. Markovic on for Lambert

Of the changes Rodgers did make at half-time, one was questionable. Yes, 20-year-old Lazar Markovic looked bright after coming on and his red card may have been harsh. But, for all his pace and energy, he offered no end product before being sent off.

And, during his red-card incident, what on Earth was he doing? Markovic's inexperience showed and Rodgers should not have put that much pressure on an out-of-form youngster yet to settle at Anfield.

“It’s very difficult to see why Markovic came on when you’ve seen [Adam] Lallana playing in most of the games,” former defender Phil Thompson told Sky Sports.

In any case, if Markovic was brought on, taking Liverpool's only striker off was questionable at best. In the last few minutes, all the Reds needed was a clinical finisher to give the ball to and progression could have been sealed.

5. No Lallana

The biggest puzzle of all, however, was why - as Thompson says - Lallana did not make an appearance on the night. The £25 million man, on balance, can now be argued to be Liverpool's best summer signing (ridiculous pricetag, aside). He has looked good this season - better than most at Anfield, at the very least - and deserved to start against Basel.

But Rodgers didn't even bring him on, instead opting for Markovic, Moreno and the out-of-form Philippe Coutinho as his substitutes (who only came on with 15 minutes to go). This was very dubious indeed from the 41-year-old...

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