Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Liverpool trip to Belgrade

Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Liverpool trip to Belgrade

Two first-half goals from Red Star Belgrade striker Milan Pavkov consigned last year's beaten finalists, Liverpool, to a shock Champions League defeat in the Serbian capital.

A victory would extend Liverpool's lead atop to the group standings, and a tie in the other Group C game - Napoli versus PSG - would leave Liverpool in an nearly unassailable position to progress with just two games remaining.

In an attempts to "avoid any distractions" Xherdan Shaqiri's presence in Belgrade may inspire, Jurgen Klopp opted to leave the Swiss worldwide out of his Liverpool squad for this week's Champions League tie against Red Star.

The 53,000-capacity Rajko Mitic Stadium is the venue for the Reds' meeting with the Serbian title-holders in Champions League Group C.

Last season Liverpool defied expectation by getting to the final of the Champions League, only to lose following Loris Karius' infamous display and Gareth Bale's incredible first goal.

A deflected Andy Robertson cross struck the Red Star crossbar in the second period while Mohamed Salah struck the post with a shot from the edge of the box. "Shaqiri will play a lot of games for us but not tomorrow".

"This is why I believe City will be champions once again, as they are a winning machine that have plenty of margin for error in most games they play".

Liverpool should have had an early lead when Daniel Sturridge inexplicably smashed over from just six yards and Red Star were ruthless in their response. A few we had to make and a few we wanted to but it is easy to say it didn't work out in the end.

"It's down to us, it's in our hands and we've shown that we're a very good team as well-but obviously we need to do better than tonight". The team was sloppy and struggling with Red Star's pressure, but the Reds were able to get a chance going thanks to Sadio Mane 17 minutes in.

Salah and Van Dijk then wasted late chances, as Red Star dug deep to open the door to Napoli or PSG in the hunt for first place.

Klopp opted to rest Roberto Firmino and give Sturridge a rare start, but he endured a hard game.

But the introduction of Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez did little to galvanise the Reds and Red Star held on to claim a famous victory.

"It's not like we have no chance of getting points from the following two games", said the German coach.

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