Football News: Spartak Moscow v Liverpool Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective

 

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Spartak Moscow v Liverpool Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective
Image from: sputniknews.com

Spartak Moskva v Liverpool



That made for uncomfortable viewing, we really should have made that a nice comfortable win, but last season these were the type of games we lost, so an away draw is a step forward. Not an ideal result, nor was it the best of performances, but it is also not as bad as some people seem to think. Clearly people are just looking at it as it being a Spartak side missing a few players through injury that we should, on paper, have beaten.

Even forgetting the fact that most of their players have European experience, you only had to see how many of their players had to be taken off woth cramp caused by running themselves into the ground to see how much work they put it. They are over the midway point in their season, so the players will be match fit, they had not travelled a huge distance as they were at home, yet they were given such a run around their legs had gone.

They gave it their absolute best and you have to, first of all, applaud them for the way they kept on going. As for Liverpool, well the game was dominated pretty much from start to finish, the biggest letdown was the finishing, too many shots were hit straight at the keeper and too often players were trying to do that little too much. However that often happens when you are not scoring chances, players will try to make sure by taking an extra touch or aiming for the centre of the goal to make sure they do not miss.

Overall it was the lack of finishing that stopped that being a hiding for Spartak, despite how hard they worked. There were issues to discuss, first of all was it even a free kick that the Muscovites scored from? I only saw the initial angle, as there were no replays shown of it, from that I thought it looked like Coutinho just nicked the ball away and was not a foul, but I would not argue with the referee as he was in a better position.

Secondly why was it not a penalty for Liverpool when the shove was clear and that same offence is given as a foul every time outside of the box or if on a defender? However that does not excuse miss after miss after miss. Finally, the main question is why does Klopp keep rotating the keepers? It is not helping anyone, except maybe the opposition. There were communication difficulties when the wall was being set for the free kick which could have contributed to its poor position. Would that have happened if the players were used to having Karius behind them all the time?



Klopp - picked what I thought was the right line up but had the set up wrong. Henderson and Can should have been told to hold, to protect the back four. Coutinho should have been given freedom to go where he wanted. Instead it seemed like Henderson was playing deeper, but Can was alongside Coutinho on the right of the pitch while Coutinho played on the left. It is restricting Coutinho to do that. Solidity is what we need behind that front four, leave them to do their thing and just support them with the midfield pair, rather than have Henderson and Can right in the middle of it all.


Karius - he did make a mistake with the free kick, is wall was poorly positioned but he should have made sure he could see it and save that. Other than that he did not have a bad game, but he was at fault for a goal, which is a big thing.


Alexander-Arnold - got forward well, played some dangerous balls in, much better with the little defending he was asked to do as well. Odd that he was not taking corners though, he is a much better corner taker than anyone else in the squad.


Matip - never really put under any real pressure, had a decent game really.


Lovren - much better from Lovren, looked a lot less likely to make a mistake than he has been of late. Though there was little actual defending for him to do.


Moreno - probably the best player in a Liverpool shirt, surprisingly. Got forward, linked up well and was not exposed defensively, though, like the centre backs, they never really attacked him.


Henderson - still looking to close and press high without checking there is cover behind him. A couple of times Spartak nearly exposed the huge hole in midfield due to him doing that. Though I would say the tactical choice to play just one deep initially did not help, with his natural inclination to press high there is a need for cover.


Can - not impressed by him at all. He just never seemed at the races, after starting well.


Coutinho - much more like what you expect from Coutinho, caused Spartak no end of problems and scored an excellent goal. Still not quite there yet, but he is looking close to his best.



Salah - needs to be more clinical, he is getting so many chances fall his way but not finishing enough of them. The good thing is that he is getting into positions to threaten.


Firmino - looked really jaded for whatever reason. Not at the races at all.


Mane - caused a lot of problems for them but never really threatened to score the way Salah did. Needs to do a bit more for me.


Subs:

Sturridge - replaced Mane in the 70th minute but showed little other than a propensity to try to do too much and lose the ball. Was not a good showing from him at all.

Wijnaldum - took the place of Can in the 73rd minute and got himself much more involved than the German had been doing. Put himself about and was always looking to get into space for a pass.

Written by Tris Burke



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