Liverpool’s two main forwards are currently at the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt and Senegal respectively, and therefore unavailable for selection.

And their absences were felt badly in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal, which ended 0-0 at Anfield.

But without their two game-changers in attack, Liverpool were toothless at Anfield and struggled to conjure up any excitement going forward.

And plenty of people on social media had more or less the same thought regarding Jurgen Klopp’s team:

Takumi Minamino, scorer of the last-gasp equaliser against Leicester in the previous round, was given the nod alongside Roberto Firmino and Jota in the front three.

But he was largely anonymous on this occasion and missed a golden opportunity to score a late winner when an open goal presented itself.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had a fairly easy night on Merseyside as a result and only had to make just one real save – to deny substitute Curtis Jones in stoppage time.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Depending on how each player’s national team performs at the tournament in Cameroon, Liverpool could be missing Salah and Mane for around a month.

Their upcoming fixture list isn’t too frightening but it’s clear their level drops tremendously when they can’t call upon the pair.

Liverpool host Brentford in the Premier League in the Sunday, before they travel to the Emirates for the second leg next week.

They then play Crystal Palace away, as well as Cardiff in the FA Cup fourth round on 6 Feb.





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