James Milner rues missed chances after loss to Red Star

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James Milner rues missed chances after loss to Red Star

Liverpool face an uphill task to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League after suffering a 2-0 defeat away to Red Star Belgrade.

Red Star moved onto four points in a tight Group C, but are still bottom behind Napoli and Liverpool (six) and Paris Saint-Germain (five). Klopp said the team "lost its mojo" in Serbia.

"In the second half we were better, we had enough chances to get back into the game and we didn't take them and you get punished".

Back then, eastern European teams were genuine contenders for club football's biggest prize - Steaua Bucharest of Romania were European champions in 1986 - and Red Star had some of the world's best players like Robert Prosinecki and Dejan Savicevic.

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.

"From the first whistle, we didn't start well enough, and that showed with them getting the two goals".

Liverpool ideally need to get a result with a tricky tie away in the French capital to come next before a potential qualification decider at home against Napoli at the end of the group.

Pavkov broke the deadlock with a header from a corner in the 22nd minute, before doubling the hosts' lead from long range seven minutes later.

After a frustrating opening 15 minutes, Liverpool should have been ahead when Daniel Sturridge found himself free at the back post following a risky pass across the box, but the striker could only blaze the ball over the bar from just six yards out.

With Shaqiri not being part of the travelling party, no changes are likely in the attacking trident for the Reds, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, both of whom scored in the last game against Crvena Zvezda, expected to slot in on the flanks, while Roberto Firmino spearheads the attack. They are now huge games for the rest of Liverpool's season.

The side was hamstrung by the inability of that threesome to win the ball - they also conspired to lose it on a number of occasions, notably Milner for the second Red Star goal.

Almost three decades on, Red Star don't have a household name in their squad and needed to qualify for the group stage through the playoffs.

"We'll definitely have a debrief and I'm sure a few things will be said".

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