Richie Sadlier tears into "liability" Trent Alexander Arnold as Liverpool crumble
REAL MADRID 3-1 LIVERPOOL
Trent Alexander Arnold is a great player having an average season. A couple of decent outings against Leipzig and Arsenal was never going to alter that fact.
Liverpool were outclassed by Real Madrid for much of their Champions League quarter final first leg but they did grab an away goal in the second half that keeps them alive in the tie.
The first half was a bad as we had seen from Liverpool, even in this tumultuous season. They went in trailing 2-0 at half-time, and they were lucky it was not much worse.
Ozan Kabak was having another tough night and he could have conceded an early penalty after tangling with Karim Benzema. On RTE, at the break, Damien Duff the "really clumsy" Turkish defender had gotten away with a poor foul.
"This, for me, is Kabak in a nutshell," said Duff. "That's a stonewall penalty."
Real hit the front when Toni Kroos long ball over the top cut out Nat Phillips and Trent Alexander Arnold, with Vincius Jr. controlling with his chest and finishing past Alisson.
The Spanish side's second goal was a moment Alexander Arnold would want to forget. Kroos pinged another searching ball over the top, the Liverpool right-back tried to head back to his goalkeeper but got it all wrong. His header found Marco Asensio, who calmly dinked the ball over Alisson.
Toni Kroos pulling strings 👌
Trent with a moment to forget
Liverpool need half-time and they need it now! pic.twitter.com/WodROh55sr
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 6, 2021
While Duff focused on Kabak's imperfect outing, Richie Sadlier took aim at Alexander Arnold and argued that even an under-strength Real are on a different level to Arsenal, whom Liverpool disposed 3-0 at the weekend. The former Millwall and Ireland forward commented:
"Trent Alexander Arnold is having an absolute howler... Modric and Kroos are running the show."
"I don't know we'll see him in the second half, he's such a liability," Sadlier added. "Real will be hoping he's still there in the second half."
Naby Keita did not even make it to half-time - he was replaced by Thiago Alcantara - but Alexander Arnold did return. The Reds got right back into the tie when Diogo Jota's deflected shot fell to Mo Salah and he halved Real's lead.
The hosts sensed that there were more goals out there for themselves, and streamed forward for a third. It arrived on 65 minutes when Luke Modric had all the time in the world to pick out Vinicius Jr. to score.
Nat Phillips so statuesque for that goal the met police just surrounded him.
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) April 6, 2021
Real could have added to that tally on a couple of occasions, in the next 10 minutes, but players often took an extra touch or made an extra pass and Liverpool were let off the hook.
Jurgen Klopp's side had the better of the final 10 minutes, but could not find the extra away goal. Alexander Arnold much preferred it in the second half as he pressed forward but he got himself a yellow card after the third of his mini spats with Vinicius Jr.
Post-match, Duff called the Liverpool performance "horrific" and said he could not see how they come back from that defeat to get through to the last four. Sadlier echoed those sentiments and said the Reds have been under-performing all season and asking them to turn it on against Real was always going to be a big ask.
Our man of the match: Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)