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Football News: Porto v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective

Porto v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective
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Porto v Liverpool A Liverpool Perspective

 


That was a difficult watch, particularly in the first half, when Liverpool were abysmal, despite the goal. It was an all-round poor performance, with every aspect of the team dreadful. As a game of football it was a terrible spectacle, with very little to redeem it, though the second half did improve, it was all over by then even when Porto scored a consolation goal.

In fact this match was so difficult a watch I have not managed to get myself around to watching it a second time, so this review is based on just one watch, instead of the usual two. Apologies for that.

 


Conceicao - tried to be clever once more and it failed again. It is like he learnt nothing from the first match at all and took all the lessons and ignored them. Marega was causing merry hell coming in from the left, so he decided to move him central where he was not as much of a threat. If Liverpool were not such a mess in the first half, all of their own making, the thrashing they received would have been so much worse. Rating: 5.

 

Casillas - could not really do anything with the goals, but he never came up with saves when it mattered either. A top class keeper would be expected to pull off an unexpected save. Rating: 5.

 

Militao - despite the adulation from the commentators, who constantly raved about what a great defender he is, even though he clearly is not even a good defender. Excellent on the ball but he spends most of the game with his eyes shut defensively, his ball watching is appalling. I fail to see why Madrid have splashed out so big on him, unless it is to replace Ramos's dives, as he does go down very easily. Rating: 4.

 

Felipe - poor guy had a shocker. Everything went wrong for him. A number of simple passes were played straight out of play and he was all over the place defensively. Rating: 1.

 

Pepe - he does a good line in fouls but his legs have gone and he was struggling badly. All the experience in the world is no good if you cannot get to the situation in time. Rating: 2.

 

Telles - he will not want to remember this game as he was found wanting a number of times. He did deliver some decent dead balls though. Rating: 4.

 

Otavio - did not look comfortable in the deeper role he was asked to play. Rating: 3.

 

Danilo - certainly said enough before the first game, he is probably wishing he had not bothered now as he failed miserably to walk the walk after all his talking the talk. Rating: 4.

 

Herrera - did some excellent work going forward, making some insightful runs but lacked the end product to make a real impact. Rating: 6.

 

Corona - showed pace, workrate and trickery, but again lacked end product. Definitely their most threatening player though. Rating: 6.5.

 

Marega - has plenty of power and pace but lacks finesse and footballing intelligence. His runs were easily dealt with in the second half, once the defence had been given simple instructions to drop. He had nothing to offer after that. His finishing is woeful. Rating: 4.

 

Brahimi - one of those frustrating players with skills but no brains that just tries to run at opponents with no idea what to do other than hope to get fouled. Rating: 1.

 

Subs:

Soares - replaced Otavio at half-time. For a few moments he looked to have introduced more threat to their team but pretty much vanished after that. Rating: 4.

Andrade - came on for Corona in the 78th minute. Their heads were down and they had pretty much given up by the time he came on. Rating: 3.

Almeida - brought on in the 81st minute to replace Brahimi. Far too late to have any effect. Rating: 5.

 


Klopp - the first half was terrible but he got them in and sorted it out at half time. The subs seemed to make a genuine difference as well. Rating: 7.5.

 

Alisson - when it matters he comes up trumps with saves, what more can you want from a keeper? Rating: 7.

 

Alexander-Arnold - had the measure of Brahimi but he struggled with other players running in behind as his awareness is still not there. Rating: 5.

 

Matip - abysmal first half but better in the second. Attempted to compete but still lacks basic awareness of runs, however he could have been helped out by the other members of the defence who were all just as shocking in the first half. In the second half they coped by the simple, and obvious, expedient of dropping off Marega. Rating: 3.

 

van Dijk - he was probably the worst player on the pitch in the first half. For a player with such quality it is hard to understand how he could not have realised he needed to drop off against Marega to stop him getting space in behind. Much better in the second half when he did drop off and even added a goal, but that first half performance cannot happen again this season if Liverpool are to win trophies. Rating: 3.5.

 

Robertson - like the rest of the defence he was awful in the first half and improved in the second. He was caught out less than the others, but he was constantly pulled inside leaving a gap wide for Militao to run into. In the second half he improved and Liverpool's increasing grip on the ball allowed him to spend less time pegged back. Rating: 5.5.

 

Wijnaldum - also not at his best in the first half, it was too easy to get in behind him with a run as he was not tracking them. Like the rest he improved massively in the second half. Rating: 4.5.

 

Fabinho - the one player who could truly hold his head up after the first half and also improved in the second. Rating: 6.5.

 

Milner - did a much better job at tracking back and helping out than Wijnaldum, but still not a particularly good first half. Improved in the second and slotted in really well when asked to drop in at left-back. Rating: 6.5.

 

Mane - barely saw the ball in the first half but still managed to put it into the back of the net. Klopp had him, Salah and Origi swap around a bit to try and find a set up that worked but it was just not seeing the ball to do anything with it. Second half was different and Mane exploited Militao's inability to defend. Rating: 7.

 

Salah - first half he struggled to get the ball enough to make a difference, second he scored and caused issues. Give him the ball and he is a danger, but he is also a willing worker and put a lot of effort into tracking back at times. Rating: 7.

 

Origi - his head down, knock it past and run style works better when he comes on late against tired legs. Against fresh legs he had little joy and his main work was tracking back to help out defensively. Rating: 4.5.

 

Subs:

Firmino - replaced Origi at half-time. Had a large influence in the game changing as he knows exactly when to press and when to drop off. He also creates space with his excellent movement and links up play. Rating: 6.5.

Gomez - was brought on for Alexander-Arnold in the 66th minute. A misplaced pass aside he looked like he had never been away. Admittedly by the time he came on Porto had pretty much lost hope but he took command of his flank well. Rating: 6.

Henderson - brought on in the 71st minute for Robertson. The game may have been over, but Henderson was not taking chances and he took the game right to Porto playing some lovely stuff once more. His drive and energy is a huge plus for the team and his will to win and dominate games pushed LFC on just when they might have become complacent otherwise. Rating: 6.

 

Just to explain my ratings. I have gone for what I believe is more simple than the usual of totting up points. I have decided to go with 5 as having no effect on the game other than being a body on the pitch. Anything below 5 is a player who had a negative effect on his team and anything above 5 as a positive effect. So a goal scored would be a positive effect and add to the rating, whereas giving away a penalty with a needless challenge would take away from it.

Written by Tris Burke April 18 2019 19:18:02

 

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