Wataru Endo hasn’t quite fit in at Liverpool.
Liverpool lost 2-3 to Toulouse in the fourth leg of their 2023-2024 UEFA Europa League Group E match at the Stade Municipal in Toulouse, France, on Tuesday (Oct. 10). The Reds remained top of the group (9 points) but allowed second-place Toulouse (7 points) to catch up.
It was Liverpool’s first loss in the Europa League this season. Aaron Jannum opened the scoring in the 36th minute after intercepting a ball from Kostas Zimikas, and Tees Darlinga added a second 13 minutes into the second half with a beautiful turnover. After Liverpool pulled one back in the 29th minute through an own goal by Cristian Caceres Jr, Toulouse regained the lead two minutes later through Franck Magri.
Liverpool pulled a goal back in the 44th minute through Diogo Jota, and Jarel Kwansa looked to have scored a dramatic equalizer in stoppage time, but video assistant referee (VAR) ruled that Alexis McAllister had been handballed in the earlier incident. Toulouse held on for a 3-2 victory and their first ever win over Liverpool.
The Reds rotated on the day, with summer signing Wataru Endo starting in defensive midfield. Endo, who was bought in a rush this summer after the Fabinho deal and the failed Moises Caicedo signing, has yet to show the quality to earn a starting spot. With McAllister playing in a defensive midfield position that doesn’t normally suit him, Endo’s performance was more important than ever.
But it wasn’t enough. Endo was unable to make an impact throughout the match, and his performance was as poor in defense as it was in attack. In particular, the fact that none of his five attempts to win the ground were successful highlights Endo’s inadequacies as a defensive midfielder.
He also committed a dangerous foul that could have earned him a red card. Endo was shown a yellow card in the 34th minute when he overextended himself to win possession of the ball and stepped hard on Darlinga’s ankle. It was a similar incident to the one that saw Marcus Rashford sent off in Manchester United’s match in Copenhagen the day before. Endo was replaced by Sobosler for Dominant at the start of the second half. 무지개토토 주소
Local media also criticized the decision. Liverpool’s local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo, gave Endo a five-star rating, saying he “wasn’t afraid to put his foot in the contest, but was careless enough to pick up a yellow card before halftime.” The U.K.’s 90min gave him a 4, saying, “He had only one misplaced pass but failed to inject any energy or enthusiasm into the team.”
“Endo failed his audition for the No. 6 (defensive midfield) role,” wrote sports publication The Athletic in its review of the Liverpool game. With Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bačetić out injured, Endo did nothing to improve his case for selection. Six minutes after he was cautioned for a foul on Darlinga, he was lucky the referee was lenient when he fouled Caceres,” he said, criticizing Endo’s subpar performance.