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'Zidane knew': Paolo Di Canio points out Liverpool's big weakness, Real Madrid exploited it

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Premier League great Paolo Di Canio believes Liverpool’s weakness was exposed by Real Madrid during their 3-1 defeat in the Spanish capital last night, speaking to Sky Italia, via Tuttomercatoweb. 

Despite a suave and swaggering performance Pep Guardiola’s legendary Barcelona would have been proud of, the goal that got the ball rolling in the Champions League quarter-final clash was more out of the Tony Pulis handbook.



A laser-guided Toni Kroos pass, floated over the top of a sluggish Liverpool back line, set up Vinicius Jr on a night when a winger often criticised for his lack of end product showcased his ruthless streak. 



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That, of course, wasn’t the first time a makeshift Reds defence had been carved apart like a plump Christmas turkey by a long ball from deep.  



Leicester City and Chelsea have both exposed Jurgen Klopp’s Achilles heel in recent weeks. And Di Canio believes Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane always planned to exploit a gaping chink in the Liverpool armour. 

“I want to underline the coach’s plan for the match. Liverpool have already conceded goals with these long balls this year and Zidane knew it,” says the West Ham legend. 

Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

On a night that all-but brings an end to Liverpool’s European charge – barring another famous Anfield comeback, of course – Naby Keita’s ill-fated Anfield career appeared to hit rock bottom. 

The £49 million midfielder was handed a rare start, with Klopp hoping a bullish ball-carrier would break through the Real Madrid press. But Keita was hooked after just 42 anonymous minutes in the Spanish capital. 

“Paradoxically, we thought that with Keita there would be more aggression. (However) Liverpool actually played in the opposing half but without affecting anything,” Di Canio adds.  

Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

In other news, 'In the future': Carragher thinks Edu's pulled off two brilliant signings for Arsenal


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