Liverpool-mad Tony Cascarino has suggested that Jurgen Klopp made a mistake in picking Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum to start their Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona, while speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT (2 May, 10.30am).
The Premier League title chasers were full of confidence heading to the Camp Nou. But their 17-game unbeaten run was brought to an end in brutal fashion as Lionel Messi strutted his stuff in a majestic second half performance.
The Argentine superstar scored twice late on, including a stunning 30-yard free-kick, as he added to Luis Suarez’s 26th-minute opener, giving Barcelona a 3-0 lead in the tie.
Liverpool had their chances but Klopp has received some criticism after the game, primarily for picking Gomez at right-back ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold while fielding Wijnaldum in an unfamiliar false nine role.
“It will have to take the greatest performance of any Liverpool side in any era to get through this tie (and reach the final),” Reds fan Cascarino told talkSPORT.
“Joe Gomez wasn’t fit, I think that was quite clear. Wonderful player that he is, he wasn’t fit the play the game.
“And the Wijnaldum selection as a centre-forward backfired hugely. He just didn’t look like a centre-forward, he didn’t know where to run, where to be.”
This was Gomez’s first start since December, the England international having spent much of the last four months out of the side with a broken ankle.
Wijnaldum, meanwhile, was chosen ahead of more attacking options such as Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi with Roberto Firmino only fit enough for the bench.
Have something to tell us about this article?