Former Arsenal player, Martin Keown has blamed defender, Joe Matip, following their 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League encounter played on Tuesday night.
Despite Liverpool and Bayern possessing world-class attacking players in their teams, chances were rare in the tightly-contested match at Anfield.
Keown criticised Matip for ‘panicking’ during Liverpool’s clash with Bayern.
“Everyone thought the absence of Virgil van Dijk would cost Liverpool defensively. While the makeshift centre-half pairing of Joel Matip and Fabinho kept a clean sheet — no mean feat against Bayern Munich — they missed the Dutchman’s forward-thinking,” Keown told Daily Mail.
“Positivity from the centre backs is crucial to the way Jurgen Klopp’s team play. Van Dijk and Joe Gomez — Liverpool’s first-choice pairing — are usually effortless in possession. They are always looking to play forwards to give the platform to build their attacks.
“That was not always the case on Tuesday night. Matip, in particular, panicked in possession. His most frequent pass in the first half was back to Alisson, finding his goalkeeper eight times.
“It prevented Liverpool from getting on the front foot and striking an early blow.
“Bayern may not be the force they once were but they still carry the aura of champions. They were able to grow in confidence throughout the match and their forwards quickly started to anticipate that Matip would keep going backwards.
“When I was playing in defence for Arsenal nothing made Arsene Wenger more angry than when we passed back to David Seaman. Go forward and the opposition are deterred from pressing your goalkeeper. Go back and you only invite them on.”