Adel Taarabt looked ‘so overwhelmed’ in Benfica’s Champions League home defeat to Liverpool, says Dean Ashton.
The Portuguese side have a mountain to climb in the quarter-finals as they currently find themselves 3-1 against the six-time European champions ahead of the second leg at Anfield.
Liverpool were the superior team, especially in the first half, where they created a catalog of chances.
Time and time again, they found room in dangerous areas thanks to their class throughout the store.
They well and truly won the midfield battle and Ashton singled out former QPR and Tottenham player Taarabt, who was taken off in the 70th minute.
“Taarabt, he’s so far from his depth in this game, honestly,” Ashton said in a commentary for talkSPORT.
“He lost the ball five or six times. There is no energy to recover, either mentally or physically [I don’t know].
“He looked like he was breathing heavily trying to get back into a defensive position.
“Julian Weigl is the only one of those Benfica midfielders who even remotely looks like a defensive mastermind and even though he struggles to cope.”
The deadlock was broken as Ibrahima Konaté headed his first goal for Liverpool in the 17th minute.
It was 2-0 on 34 minutes as Sadio Mane tapped into an empty net from six yards after being tackled by Luis Diaz after Trent Alexander-Arnold brilliantly picked out the Colombian with a long rake ball.
Benfica pulled one back early in the second half as Darwin Nunez capitalized on an error from Konate before clipping the ball past Reds keeper Alisson.
But Liverpool are firmly in charge of the draw with Diaz late on – the Colombian latched on to Naby Keita’s through ball before rounding Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.
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