As Liverpool’s dream of Europa League glory disintegrated in front of their eyes on Wednesday night, the knives were being sharpened for left back Alberto Moreno.
The Spaniard endured a wretched evening as Sevilla cancelled out Daniel Sturridge’s fantastic opener just seventeen seconds into the second half, before going on to win 3-1 and lift the trophy for the third year in succession on a rainy night in Basel.
Alberto Moreno has attempted 4 tackles vs. Sevilla; he’s failed to win a single one of them. Ruined by Mariano. pic.twitter.com/pw8b34bLBr
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 18, 2016
Many supporters and Liverpool personnel hammered Moreno’s performance – Steve McManaman and Michael Owen were particularly damning in the BT Studio following the result, while Mark Lawrenson was equally disgusted with his performance on BBC Radio.
Most cutting all, however, was this remarkably angry (and later deleted) tweet from club legend Jamie Carragher:
He’s since deleted this tweet, but Jamie Carragher was a bit upset last night.. pic.twitter.com/o7jgi4hUtr
— uMAXit Football (@uMAXitFootball) May 19, 2016
One man who has jumped to Moreno’s defence, however is Sevilla manager Unai Emery. The 23 year old played under Emery for one year at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán- winning the Europa League in 2014 – before a £12m move to Anfield, and his old boss argued that Moreno has had a great season for the club.
“Alberto Moreno is playing a great season for Liverpool.
“And what I have seen is he is playing at a level that he can go back to the Spanish national team.
“I always see the glass half-full because he has a great offensive ability and I see him as a great offensive player rather than being a poor defender.”
Moreno’s place is said to be in serious doubt at Liverpool – even before last night’s disaster – with Klopp believed to have his eye on a £10m move for Cologne’s German international full back Jonas Hector as part of a squad overhaul.