Liverpool came away with a 2-2 draw against Ludogorets Razgrad in a crunch Champions League encounter last night. The reds were denied by an equalizer, three minutes from time after going ahead in the first half, thanks to goals from Rickie Lambert and Jordan Henderson.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid’s win over FC Basel have kept Liverpool’s Champions League hope alive and the reds can progress to the knockout rounds of the tournament, if they can win at home against the Swiss outfit.
Here are a few observations from last night’s game.
The likes of Jordan Henderson and Rickie Lambert looked a lot more confident during yesterday’s game and their goals will have certainly added to that. Henderson has looked shaky in his last few games and had a disappointing outing with England during the international break. However, the English midfielder seems to have gathered some of his confidence with a goal scoring display at Bulgaria, and will be looking to build on it next week.
Rickie Lambert has been in and out of the squad depending on Mario Balotelli’s form and fitness. However, the former Southampton man looked confident from the start and brought his team level after an early goal from the home side. The boyhood red scored in a defeat against Crystal Palace last week and his second goal in two games will certainly add to his growing confidence.
The towering Belgian was one of the key figures in the Liverpool’s title challenge last season. However, his season seems to be going from bad to worse, with another poor goalkeeping performance last night. The former Sunderland man was at fault for the first goal as he gifted a rebound to the opposition player after a poor save.
The Belgian international has been at fault for several goals this season and the shaky defensive quartet in front of him hasn’t helped either. Simon Mignolet’s Anfield career seems to be heading in the wrong direction and an upgrade is needed.
Liverpool’s team selections have been surprising for most part of the season and last night was no different. Brendan Rodgers raised eyebrows with his decision to drop the likes of Coutinho and Emre Can.
The duo has been impressive in the last few outings and dropping them for a crunch game seemed like a surprising thing to do. Glen Johnson’s selection over new signing Alberto Moreno was unexpected as well and the England international did nothing to justify his selection as he was at fault for the late equalizer. However, there were positives as well. Picking Kolo Toure ahead of Dejan Lovren paid off as the reds looked a lot more resilient at the back.
Another strong performance from the Bulgarians. When the groups were announced, everybody expected Ludogorets to be the punching bags of Group B. The Bulgarian outfit made it to the Champions’ League group stages with an amazing penalty shootout display and have earned a lot of respect through their performances since then. A strong showing against Real Madrid at home and a win against Basel proved that the Bulgarians were no pushovers and despite not being in a position to make it to the next round, Ludogorets will walk out with their heads held high.