Stars must take blame for Euro slump: Lal­lana

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

Ju­ven­tus Man United Va­len­cia ADAM LAL­LANA ad­mits Liver­pool’s play­ers must take the blame for their Cham­pi­ons League woes after their shock de­feat by Red Star Bel­grade.

Jur­gen Klopp’s side have squan­dered a com­fort­able po­si­tion in Group C after los­ing two of their last three matches.

Their 2-0 loss at Red Star on Tues­day was a ma­jor blow given they had al­ready lost to Napoli ear­lier in the cam­paign.

The Reds face Paris Saint-Ger­main in the French cap­i­tal and Napoli at home in their fi­nal group game, with their progress to the last 16 sud­denly un­cer­tain.

A loss to French cham­pi­ons PSG would leave them fac­ing a nail-bit­ing shoot-out with Napoli and Liver­pool mid­fielder Lal­lana knows his team have no ex­cuses for their predica­ment.

Lal­lana, still edg­ing his way back to full match sharp­ness after a pe­riod out with in­jury, knows it is time to step up for the team that fin­ished as Cham­pi­ons League run­ners-up last sea­son.

“As play­ers we’ve got to take full re­spon­si­bil­ity and make sure it doesn’t hap­pen again,” Lal­lana told LFCTV.

“It’s still in our hands – if we win our next two games we go through, but that was a great op­por­tu­nity missed for us.

“It’s go­ing to be very tough. That’s the Cham­pi­ons League – there are no teams that en­ter this com­pe­ti­tion that give you wins.

“It wasn’t like us and we need to move on and im­prove if we’re go­ing to go through to the knock­outs.

“Of course there’ll be a re­ac­tion. It’s not the first time we’ve lost games, it’s about how you re­act and bounce back, but we’re thor­oughly dis­ap­pointed to come away (from Bel­grade) with noth­ing.”

Liver­pool con­ceded a goal from a cor­ner and an­other from a loss of pos­ses­sion and quick counter-at­tack against Red Star.

“It was a slow start all round re­ally and we gave them far too many op­por­tu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially from set-pieces,” Lal­lana said.

“We had chances but we weren’t ruth­less enough, weren’t pa­tient enough. It’s not like us. It’s on us to take re­spon­si­bil­ity and we need to bounce back in the next two games.” – AFP last two Pre­mier League vis­its to St James’ Park. Ed­die Howe’s Bournemouth have al­ready won three of their five away games this sea­son while Rafa Ben­itez’s Mag­pies got their first League win of the sea­son against Wat­ford last week­end.

REUTERSPIX

Va­len­cia 3 Young Boys 1 Ju­ven­tus 1 Manch­ester United 2 P W D L F A Pts Manch­ester City’s Ra­heem Ster­ling (cen­tre) in ac­tion just be­fore scor­ing his team’s third goal dur­ing yes­ter­day’s Cham­pi­ons League match against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Eti­had Sta­dium. –

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