Michael Owen was in agreement with Rio Ferdinand’s assessment of Liverpool after they lost 3-1 to Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
First-half goals Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio had the Spanish side 2-0 up at the break in first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
Mohamed Salah got one back shortly after the interval for Liverpool but Vinicius added another less than 15 minutes later to give Real a deserved two-goal lead heading into the second leg at Anfield.
And following the match, Owen agreed with Ferdinand’s “point” that “when you’re vulnerable at the back it goes down like a pack of cards” like Liverpool did against the Spanish giants
Owen told BT Sport: “I was disappointed with the midfield area tonight. We all said before the game midfield would be a crucial area. 29, 31, 35 years of age their midfield.
“Now they’re brilliant on the ball, and that’s what Spanish football is, it’s dictating the ball. But I just think if you can go at them, if you have the energy, like with your Hendersons, you can get at them and that’s what’s frustrating.
“Rio made a good point right at the start, I think it starts from the back. When you’re so confident in your back two that they can go one-to-one, you can squeeze, you can do whatever you like.
“You can flood men forward, you can push your full-backs forward again, you can do so many things but when you’re vulnerable at the back it goes down like a pack of cards.
“It’s a knock on effect it’s like a domino effect and now they’re not pressing with the same enthusiasm and the same energy.
“And this midfield that they’re playing against, yes it’s brilliant, it has been brilliant for so many years, but you can overrun them with pure energy and physique.
“I’m sure you could at Anfield, but it just doesn’t feel like that energy is in that engine room at the moment.”
The pace of Vinicius was a problem for Liverpool all night and the Brazilian’s first double in a game was well deserved, according to coach Zinedine Zidane.
“I am happy for him because what he is doing and what all the guys are doing is a great job, especially from a defensive point of view,” said the Real boss.
“Maybe he was missing some goalscoring with the work he is contributing to the team so to score two goals is big to provide a lot of confidence and he deserves that.
“I don’t know if that was his best match but two goals in the quarter-finals is important for him and the team.
“I am happy because of the football. At the beginning of the second half we had a bit of difficulty but at the end of the day we are happy with 3-1 as it was a huge effort.
“We have to enjoy what we did today.”