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Steve McManaman says he spotted something ‘really strange’ during Liverpool’s game vs Sparta Prague

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Liverpool played out a rollercoaster of a game in the Europa League last-16 against Sparta Prague tonight.

It was a bizarre game, with both teams attacking relentlessly and defending pathetically. Liverpool were marginally more ruthless and marginally less diabolical at the back, however.

Nevertheless, perhaps the worst defending of the game belonged to the Reds. Having somehow got off with a clean sheet in the first-half, they were punished just 45 seconds into the second.

With a routine ball down the Sparta right wing enough to flummox both Andy Robertson and Ibrahima Konate, the whipped cross into the middle looked to have been cleared by Conor Bradley. Unfortunately for the Northern Irishman though, he hadn’t cleared it all. The ball rocketed into the top corner.

It was a double-take moment, and a second or two passed before you realised Sparta had scored. And commentating for TNT Sports, former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman admitted that the goal had been ‘really strange.’

“Really strange goal,” said a bemused McManaman. “Conor Bradley comes across, outside of the right foot, tries to clear it. Comes off his laces and flies past Caoimhin Kelleher.”

Bradley scores strange own goal

In fairness to Sparta Prague, they absolutely deserved the goal they got. From their point of view, it’s only a shame it came their way off a Liverpool boot.

Bradley won’t want to watch this back, either. The 20-year-old has been fantastic since coming into the first-team picture this season. However, this was a poor moment.

It was a slightly awkward ball into the box from the right-hand side, but he should have been able to deal with it.

Having got a good connection on the clearance, it shouldn’t have been a problem for Bradley to divert it wide. In fact, it looked for all the world that he had.

But he hadn’t. The top corner bulged and the crowd went berserk.

But it wasn’t only strange for the goal itself. The whole scenario surrounding it was bizarre.

There’s no way that Liverpool should have been done so easily just seconds into the second period. They’d left themselves far too open in the first and gotten away with it.

3-0 to the good, things should have been locked up right from the get-go. Nothing silly, lads.

Instead, Liverpool could hardly have been more open if they’d tried. Obviously, tonight was not a problem in the end. But if the Reds come again with this organisation against Manchester City on Sunday, it’ll be a cricket score. Unlucky for Bradley, but this shouldn’t be happening again.

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