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27th Sep 2017

Rio Ferdinand says what needs to be said about Loris Karius

It had to be said

Robert Redmond

It had to be said.

Liverpool experienced another frustrating evening on Tuesday. Jurgen Klopp’s side were in Russia to face Spartak Moscow, in the second game of their Champions League group. They had one of the best attacking line-ups to be found anywhere in Europe, with Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino all starting together for the first time this season.

They dominated possession and tested the Spartak goalkeeper on several occasions, but, once again, the team’s shaky foundations let them down.

After 23 minutes, Fernando gave the home side the lead with a well-hit free-kick. However, on second glance, Liverpool’s stand-in goalkeeper greatly aided the midfielder.

Fernando’s shot was in the centre of the goal, well-within the reach of Loris Karius, but the German ‘keeper couldn’t prevent it hitting the back of the net. Goalkeeper is a specialist position, and a keepers’ mistakes are highlighted more, and more noticeable, than those made by outfield players. As such, ‘keepers can often come in for unfair criticism.

However, in this scenario, Karius had evidently messed up.

Following the match, Klopp refused to criticise Karius. The German ‘keeper looks set to play in Liverpool’s Champions League games this season, with Simon Mignolet in goal for the Premier League matches. Klopp doesn’t usually criticise his players in public, and it was his decision to rotate his goalkeepers, so no-one should be surprised that he refused to call out Karius for his error.

However, Rio Ferdinand reckons the Karius’ mistake was indefensible. The former Manchester United defender said he would he “fuming” if a goalkeeper made such a mistake in a team he was playing in.

“You’ve got to finish teams off at this level, because if you don’t, they get an opportunity to score – especially if your keeper isn’t producing at the other end,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport’s coverage of the game

“I know he’s trying to protect his goalkeeper a little bit there, but I don’t think the ‘keeper is someone you can protect in this instance. If I’m in that team, I’m turning around and I’m fuming. I’m asking what’s going on.”

Ferdinand doesn’t appear to be a fan of Karius. Two weeks ago, before Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Sevilla, Rio questioned Klopp’s decision to rotate his goalkeepers.