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 By Steven Kelly

Loris Karius' blunder, Liverpool's wastefulness limit them to a draw at Spartak

Liverpool once again drop points they should have earned as Spartak Moscow hold on for a 1-1 draw.
Steve Nicol and the FC panel don't see Liverpool's draw as catastrophic but they have serious questions for Klopp's goalkeeper selection.

Liverpool wasted a golden opportunity to join Sevilla as qualification favourites in Group E, despite overwhelming possession and a clutch of gilt-edged chances.  

Spartak MoscowSpartak Moscow
LiverpoolLiverpool
1
1
FT
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Positives

Qualification is still in their hands, and an away point against their main rivals for second place may still be a good one. They were clearly the better side though and that's why this one feels like a defeat.  

Negatives

Too much wastefulness in front of goal emphasised that they have some gifted forward players but not one lethal striker who can turn such one-sided games into a stroll.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Whatever point he is trying to prove with the goalkeeper has long since been disproven and although squandering chances was the most debilitating factor on the night, he is now being stubborn to a ludicrous extreme now. Substitutions were late but his team still did more than enough to win comfortably.  

Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Loris Karius, 4 -- One easy thing to do and still couldn't do it, this should be the end of the German's Champions League campaign. Simon Mignolet would have saved that free kick, end of story.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 -- Mostly required as a winger rather than a full-back, he did his fair share of pressing forward for a winner. Lost his head on several occasions, but can't be criticised too harshly for that when far more experienced colleagues did likewise.

DF Joel Matip, 6 -- Little to do except give the ball to other players and get Liverpool moving forward. Defensive duties, as limited as they became, were dealt with efficiently enough.

DF Dejan Lovren, 6 -- As with Matip, did his work with calm and authority. Very little was seen of the usual defensive panic that has blighted his season thus far, but most of that was down to an extremely cautious Spartak performance.

DF Alberto Moreno, 7 -- More the kind of game in which the Spaniard thrives, he linked up well with forwards and drove on more than most for a late winner. A little more thought was needed in several dangerous positions, but you can't have everything.

MF Jordan Henderson, 7 -- Disciplined, worked hard and broke up what little forward momentum Spartak could muster. Possibly at fault for a drop in tempo for Liverpool in the second half, but only to be expected after an arduous game at Leicester three days earlier.

MF Emre Can, 4 -- Poor display. Careless in possession which resulted in an early booking, which seemed to hamper his game more than it should. A fair bit of dithering and borderline brainless play from someone who normally thrives in European competition.

It was a frustrating night for Liverpool who squandered chance after chance against Spartak Moscow.

MF Philippe Coutinho, 6 -- Scored an excellent equaliser but often was too deep or too far out wide to allow his natural ability to fully blossom. Always dangerous near or inside the box, he wasn't there often enough to make it truly count.

FW Sadio Mane, 6 -- Still dangerous at times but looked a little rusty after a long break through suspension. Crossing was often abysmal and needs to work harder on linking up with others. That said it was a glorious one-two for the equaliser but it was a rare success on the night.

FW Mohamed Salah, 6 -- A night when his wasteful play proved more damaging than usual, he was always a threat and made great runs into the area but when he was found -- which wasn't often -- he couldn't make it count.

FW Roberto Firmino, 4 -- Another worrying performance from the Brazilian, once again proving he is not a natural striker. When he is also sloppy in possession that merely reinforces his profligacy in front of goal. At least two excellent chances were squandered on the night.

Substitutes:

FW Daniel Sturridge, 4 -- All the good work he did at Leicester was undone with a selfish, inept performance this time around. Greedy and out for himself, he could have turned this game with an ounce of the skill and selflessness he showed at Leicester and missed a glorious chance when it did come.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, NR -- Replaced Can but hardly made a difference. One or two energetic charges down the wing which led to nothing but the rest was pretty anonymous.

Steven Kelly is one of ESPN FC's Liverpool bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @SteKelly198586.

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