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Football News: Arsenal v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective

Arsenal v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective
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Arsenal v Liverpool A Liverpool Perspective

 

A massive change from the stroll over a limp Cardiff side the previous weekend. Arsenal were up for it and had in their side a player that was absolutely head and shoulders above the rest in Torreira. I have read so much bumpf about how Liverpool lack a number 10, a creative player, it seems to have escaped everyone's notice that Liverpool create chances for fun, it is a pitbull terrier, Torreira, Kante, Davids kind of player that is missing. In the first few games Milner did a very good job of filling the role, but he has looked jaded in the last few games, since coming back from injury, and he needs help.

In time, possibly Keita can fill that role alongside Milner and allow the player at the base to just sit and cover gaps, rather than being drawn forward to help out. For now though, it is a very real concern and leaving large gaps, especially with Robertson and Alexander-Arnold's constant desire to chase forward into midfield when they should be dropping off. That leaves holes that pull centre backs wide and the player at the base has to drop in and fill the gap left.

For now though, it is a major issue that haunted Liverpool against both Arsenal and Chelsea, though it will very rarely matter against teams that sit back and defend, it is crucial against those willing to go toe-to-toe. Overall though a thrilling game, with a disappointing result, especially as a perfectly good goal was chalked off for no reason.

 

Klopp - hard to know what to make of Klopp's role, other than the poor subs, which seem to be an ongoing theme with him. The ridiculous Matip on for the final minutes is a particular bugbear of mine, though at least he thought better of having Matip drop into the defence and just got him to sit in midfield. However, as I mentioned above, it is clear we do not need someone doing that role, we need someone harrying the opposition and putting them under pressure on the ball. In fact, Klopp himself said it afterwards when he said "we made it too easy for Arsenal."

What I will say is his half time reshuffle of the formation, to drop Wijnaldum deeper alongside Fabinho, helped a lot. It did take away some from the team's attacking potential, but it also cut off a lot of the Arsenal threat. Rating: 7.

 

Alisson - played one superlative ball to Salah but his overall game was not at his best. He should have given away a penalty for wiping out an Arsenal player as he got absolutely nowhere near a cross. Then there was the goal, he was too slow to get back on his line once the defender got back in, which allowed Lacazette the space to guide it round both. He should have been yards further back and been in position to at least attempt a save. Rating: 5.5.

 

Alexander-Arnold - struggled early on but grew into the game. Started off being overrun through most of the first half, but gradually imposed himself as the game went on. The reshuffle Klopp did at half-time really helped him and gave him a bit more help. Rating: 6.5.

 

Gomez - had a really good game. Still has a tendency to dwell on the ball at times but he usually has the ability to protect it and drive forward with it. His pace was vital in ensuring Lacazette and Aubameyang did not have an easy game. Rating: 7.5.

 

van Dijk - had a really strong game, it was one of those he lives for. The big games he usually shines in and once more he did so. Rating: 8.

 

Robertson - he was really annoying me because he was running forward into midfield to press a player when it was clear he needed to drop as there were players running in behind him. It was the kind of game that really showed up his inexperience at the top level as his decision making was poor. Unlike Alexander-Arnold, he was not getting the help from midfield which made it more difficult but he has to learn that in those situations you drop into the defensive line and let them have the possession. Rating: 5.

 

Wijnaldum - struggled to impose himself on the game, though he improved in the second half from deeper. He needed that change, as well as Alexander-Arnold needed the extra protection. Rating: 6.5.

 

Fabinho - struggled badly with the pace of the game. He was not the only one to do so, but it was more noticeable with him as people are watching him closely to see how he adapts. Did break up play well with some good tackles, only for the ball to break Arsenal's way most of the time. However that is not his fault, that is for the rest of the team to work on being more alert for the breaking ball when he goes in to make a tackle. Rating: 6.

 

Milner - looked jaded and it is little wonder he was angry at half-time, as he was not at his best and none of his team-mates were helping him do the running. Was beginning to flag near the end but, despite not looking 100% fit (well Milner-level fit) he still got involved all over the pitch. He just needed to be given the ball more, rather than having to chase it. Even a slightly off it Milner is better than most, especially this season. And, of course, he got the goal. Well, the goal that was not wrongly chalked off. Rating: 7.5.

 

Salah - gave Kolasinac a torrid time, which the Arsenal left back dealt with by pulling and pushing him all over the place, yet Salah was still able to get on the ball constantly and keep it from him most of the time. Holding did cover over well though to stop him really getting into his stride. Rating: 7.

 

Firmino - if Milner looked slightly jaded, Firmino looked tired, his pressing from the front was nothing like his normal level. Not a good game though still had a chance he should have done better with. Rating: 6.

 

Mane - scored a perfectly good goal which was disallowed but was a little subdued at times. Never really fully imposed himself on Arsenal as Liverpool did not get enough possession to give him the ball enough to force Bellerin to stay back. He did get back and cover the defence when needed. Rating: 7.

 

Subs:

Shaqiri - came on in the 80th minute for Firmino. Never got enough of the ball to make anything much happen. It was, in my opinion, not really the game for him. The 80th minute was also too late for it to have any real effect on the game either way. Rating: 6.

Matip - replaced Salah in the dying seconds in an attempt to hold onto the lead. Actually got himself involved a fair bit but bringing him on just creates pressure on the team as opponents realise Liverpool are looking to hold on. Plus, he never convinces when defending, though he actually did nothing wrong. Rating: 6.

Written by Tris Burke November 05 2018 14:04:02

 

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