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Barnes Blames Alcantara For Liverpool’s Goal Drought

Barnes Blames Alcantara For Liverpool’s Goal Drought

Liverpool legend John Barnes says Thiago Alcantara is to blame for the Premier League champion’s recent goal drought because he slows down the game too much.

Barnes praised what he saw from Alcantara in the Reds’ goalless draw against Manchester United, saying he “ran the game”.

But Barnes believes Thiago’s build-up play is a little too slow for Liverpool, and Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah simply aren’t used to it.

Barnes has suggested that this is why Liverpool have now gone three games – their longest since 2005 – without scoring a single goal.

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“Thiago, who was running the game and was the best player in the first-half, I don’t think that necessarily helped the front three,” Barnes told talkSPORT.

“With [Jordan] Henderson and Fabinho in midfield, they just get the ball forward and are much more direct for the three strong-running strikers to get on the ball and go on attack, Thiago slows the game down.

“When he slowed the game down in tight areas, that is not Mane’s game, that is not Salah’s game. So we’re getting used to a new system, but at the moment it’s not working.

“In my opinion, along with Man City, we’re still favourites [for the title].”

Jurgen Klopp was asked about his side’s goal drought following the draw with bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.

The German explained there is no easy explanation.

“If we won 1-0 I’d think it was completely fine. You can’t deny Manchester United chances for 90 minutes. You never could. They’re in a good moment,” said Klopp.

“With all the things said before the game – they’re flying and we’re struggling – my boys did a good game tonight. First half the counter-press was great, passing was good. But we didn’t score. That’s the most important thing in football.

“The second half was a bit more open. They had two big chances – Alisson made two good saves. There is no easy explanation [for their recent lack of goals].

“You always miss chances. You have to keep going and try to ignore the talk around it. Everyone wants to see goals. You cannot force it.

“It’s football. These moments happen. You have moments where you can’t explain why you score from all angles.

Against Crystal Palace everything ended up in the net. It’s a bit annoying in between these moments.

“I like the game. I saw a lot of really good individual performances and the team performance was good. Not the result we wanted, but the result we got.”

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