Carragher provides Liverpool fans with a reality check as he lays into Sturridge’s semi-final performance

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Jamie Carragher has bemoaned the lack of squad depth available to Jurgen Klopp after watching his former side crash out of the EFL Cup against Southampton.

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Trailing by a narrow 1-0 margin ahead of the Anfield second-leg, the Reds had widely been expected to progress against a visiting side shorn of captain and defensive rock Virgil Van Dijk.

But a comeback failed to materialise last night, as a lethargic Liverpool were beaten again thanks to Shane Long’s injury-time strike on the counter.

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And after the match, Carragher, who was fulfilling punditry duties for Sky Sports, suggested that an energy-sapped Reds side may now be unable to keep pace in the Premier League title race due to their overall lack of options.

“Liverpool look like they’ve run out of energy and legs which is a big worry,” he said.

“Is that down to the intensity that they play at, that they train at? They’ve still got the whole of the second half of the season to go and they don’t look as though there’s that zip, that energy there.

“Out of the top six, Liverpool’s is probably the sixth best squad or the sixth best team. But they are where they are because of the manager and no Europe.

“Now, with them running out of the legs, that energy, we’re maybe seeing what this Liverpool squad is. And when we’re talking about squad, you look at that bench and it’s nowhere near big enough or strong enough.”

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The Liverpudlian also reserved scorn for under fire Reds forward Daniel Sturridge, who missed a couple of glaring chances and rarely affected the match in any meaningful way.

“When he plays and he doesn’t score you’re basically down to 10 men because he doesn’t offer anything else,” he added.

“The only reason to have him in the team is for finishing ability. He doesn’t do anything else in the game now.

“He’s had a really poor night and usually he finishes that. He’s a completely different player now to what he was when he first came under Brendan Rodgers. He used to give you penetration in behind and he had pace.

“I don’t know whether his pace has completely gone, or he’s worried about injuries – but his pace has gone. All he does is come to feet now.

“Now we have to criticise him tonight because he’s missed chances but if you look at his overall record for Liverpool it’s fantastic in terms of goals, and goals to game ratio. But I’m talking about his pace and his overall game.”

Liverpool are next in action against Wolves in the FA Cup this weekend, before facing a make-or-break match with league leaders Chelsea on Tuesday evening.

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