Rio Ferdinand has slammed both Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips for ‘standing still’ during Liverpool’s game against Real Madrid last night, on BT Sport.
Liverpool struggled against Madrid yesterday, as they were beaten 3-1.
In the first-half, in particular, Liverpool’s defence was exposed as the pace of Madrid’s attack caused them plenty of problems.
Madrid caught Liverpool’s defence out with a long-ball over the top for their first goal, and they a similar pass led to the second.
It was a huge error from Trent Alexander-Arnold which presented Marco Asensio with the chance, but Ferdinand was more angry with Phillips’ and Kabak’s defending.
The duo both continuously tried to play a high line, even when Toni Kroos had possession under little pressure.
And Ferdinand said: “The two centre backs, watch them in the middle of the pitch here.
“This is definitely a tactical thing they have worked on. The two centre backs, they don’t move. They stand up and stand still when there is no pressure on the ball.
“How is that possible? Look at the difference in the positions of the back-line. That’s back to front. The two centre-backs should be here [deeper than the full-backs].
“Yes, they’re young and inexperienced defenders but they are fundamentals of a defender’s make-up.”
In fairness to Kabak and Phillips both of them are still learning on the job, but they were given a painful lesson of how difficult things are at the top level last night.
And Liverpool now face an uphill struggle if they are to qualify for the next round.