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Football News: Liverpool v Cardiff City - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Cardiff City - A Liverpool Perspective
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Liverpool v Cardiff City A Liverpool Perspective

 

One of the most dominant performances I have ever seen, Cardiff were utterly inept, so it is astonishing they managed to score and put a stop to the run of clean sheets. It was down to two moments of laxness, from two defenders who played well overall, and those kind of things do happen when a game is so one-sided. It is difficult, particularly as a defender, to maintain concentration when a game is like that, however it is something that cannot be allowed to become a habit, as it could well cost us against a better side. Let's face it, I doubt Liverpool will face a worse side this season, even if they draw a non-league team in the FA Cup!

Klopp pretty much stuck with the same system as the midweek thrashing of Red Star, just freshened up the team a little with some changes. It worked even better as Cardiff were truly abysmal and only had one plan, if you can kick it, kick it, if you can't kick it, then pull it, push it or dive and hope for the best. It did feel like the referee felt sorry for them, as he was very helpful to them with most of his decisions. It felt like, if he was not sure he was giving it to Cardiff as they needed everything they could get or perhaps he just did not want to have to listen to Colin shrieking at him after the match? Who knows, but he certainly could not have done much more to aid them if he had put on a blue shirt and started hacking down Salah himself.

Difficult to take too much from this game in a positive way, as Cardiff were just so tame, unlike their fans, which is a shame because it was an excellent attacking performance. The big worry simply is about a loss of concentration, something that should not be an issue in more difficult games, especially as the main culprit will only play in those games if there is injury problems. Overall it was a steamroller crushing a snarling dog which tried its very best to savage the steamroller and ended up just being flattened.

 

Klopp - he must have been a worried man up until the second goal went in and then furious they were let back in it. It all worked out in the end though and his tactics were spot on. It was the most one-sided game I can remember seeing. Cardiff had just two touches inside the Liverpool box in the entire game, incredible. It was so good to see the whole team back on the front foot and refusing to let the opposition settle on the ball, even if it did lead to a couple of rash challenges. Rating: 9.

 

Alisson - it is a wonder he never nodded off, all he had to do was pick up a few overhit hoofs and deal with a couple of backpasses. Well other than the goal, which he could not really do anything about but hope it hit him. Rating: 6.5.

 

Alexander-Arnold - held onto his place and was a constant threat driving on. A couple of times he did get caught out by Murphy but never anything serious. Rating: 7.

 

Lovren - brought back in to deal with the more physical Cardiff long ball tactics. Mostly had a really good game, but did give away one rash free kick in a dangerous place trying too hard to win the ball back. Never seemed troubled by Paterson though. Rating: 7.5.

 

van Dijk - captain until Milner came in and looks the right choice. He was given the chances to bring the ball out and used them fairly well. Paterson clearly did not even fancy trying his chances against him and so stayed as far away as possible. However he did lose concentration on the goal, with a very lazy attempt to clear it, which just led to him diverting it into Paterson's path. Not really his fault as such, just caught out by a mistake by Moreno and slow to react. Shame because it ruined what would have been an excellent game for him, well ruined how he would have felt afterwards anyway. No defender likes conceding. Rating: 8.

 

Moreno - with Robertson given a rare day off, Moreno came in and played really well in the main, but he still had those Moron-o moments where he switched his brain off and gave away an opportunity. The worst of all was on the goal, where he totally lost his head and ended up jumping out the way. He is a trier and can play well for 85 minutes of a game, but he makes 5 minutes worth of errors in every game, each one putting real pressure on the team and undoing the 85 minutes of good play. Rating: 6.5.

 

Wijnaldum - excellent game, once more. He really seems to be raising his game this season to keep his place in the side. Seems able to work with whoever is alongside him in midfield better than anyone else in the squad. Rating: 8.5.

 

Fabinho - another excellent game, though he should have been hard pressed, he was able to take charge in midfield without breaking sweat. Good passing range, which he was able to use well. Rating: 8.5.

 

Lallana - he is still a long way off his best. It is back to the dithery, dawdling Lallana, who wants to take 7 touches when 1 will do. His movement was very good though, but it all goes to nowt when he gets the ball and wastes the opportunity to play the decisive pass. Also, I am sick of seeing him bottle challenges. However, he is just coming back from a long injury spell out, so he does need games to get back to form and better he gets them against teams like Cardiff than the better sides. Rating: 4.5.

 

Salah - absolutely brilliant, a goal and two assists, all despite being hacked, pulled and pushed every time the ball was within 50 yards of him. They could foul him all they wanted, but they could not handle him at all. He was just a class apart. Rating: 9.

 

Firmino - had a very good game, his interchange with the other 3 just left the Cardiff defence and midfield all wrapped up in knots as no one knew who should be picking up who. I am still trying to figure out how he got the ball out when he was on the floor in the left back position. That was a piece of magic! All his performance lacked was a goal. Rating: 8.

 

Mane - his pace and movement causes havoc, though his decision making and passing was not at its best. Despite that he notched two good goals and played some excellent stuff, constantly interchanging with the other front men and leaving Cardiff floundering in his wake. Rating: 8.5.

 

Subs:

Shaqiri - thankfully took the place of Lallana on 61 minutes. He lifted the team as he moved the ball much quicker, in the main. He is really looking good so far, but he needs to keep it up for the long term, and not drop his level when he settles in. Rating: 7.5.

Milner - came on for Firmino on 71 minutes and slotted back in like he had never been away. Rating: 7.

Written by Tris Burke October 28 2018 19:01:02

 

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