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Football News: Liverpool v Maribor Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Maribor Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective
Image from: omnicheer.com

Liverpool v Maribor

 

A very similar game, as well as result, to the match versus Huddersfield Town. Maribor did the same thing, sat deep and looked to hold out for as long as possible. No intent to do anything other than keep the score down. It does not make for a great spectacle for the fans that is for sure! They showed no signs of ambition at all, even though it was all or nothing for them last night, they chose to take nothing and that is what they got.

What made it even more like the Huddersfield game was the missed penalty! Though I blame myself for that one as I was sat there thinking Milner is offering nothing, again, and his only real use is to bring him on to take penalties. Literally as I finished that thought Firmino was brought down in the box again. When Milner missed it, I just knew I had jinxed it. Oh well.

There were other similarities too, Liverpool were awful in the first half, playing the ball around at the back with no pace to the pass. It was just rolled around slowly, giving Maribor plenty of time to reposition themselves. The big difference was the lack of numbers held back, there was no back 3 in possession with Henderson stood on their toes, even after Henderson came on. It was a standard back 4, with attacking wing backs, instead of full backs, and the defensive midfielder, Can at first then Henderson after he came on, played 5 yards further forward.

That was probably the biggest difference, the whole game was played further forward, in the Maribor half, but it was just as slow and laboured in the first half. Once again the passing was too slow, the movement virtually non-existent and there were little in the way of real chances being created. When possession was lost, Maribor had no out ball, so Liverpool were able to swarm them and win the ball back easily.

The second half once again saw more urgency and it paid dividends. The only person who will not be happy is Karius, as he once more got a chance to play and had the sum total of nothing to do. Just one fairly simple save and the odd back pass to deal with. It really was a routine and boring win to be perfectly
honest. There was never a moment of danger with them even looking like they were going to try to get back into it, let alone actually get into it.

 

Klopp - easy night for Klopp, all he had to do was make sure there was no complacency setting in. Maribor could not have made it any easier for him if they tried.

 

Karius - what little he had to do he dealt with confidently and well but there was too little for any judgement of his performance to be made.

 

Alexander-Arnold - got a chance at right back and was very impressive with so little defending to be done. He could do what he does best, get forward and cross the ball. He also made sure to put the ball in early, so the defence did not have time to get set, which is something none of our other players do. They all dither, go back on their other foot etc. I still can not understand why he is not taking all the corners. He is the only person in the entire squad who can deliver a decent corner, it is about time he was givne the responsibility.

 

Matip - even on a night where he had virtually nothing to do he managed to make it look like it was too much effort to be bothered at times. Got done a few times and did his usual sauntering back.

 

Klavan - this is the kind of games that suits him as he is not up against pace, so he can just get tight and make sure the opponent gets nowhere.

 

Moreno - allowed himself to get pulled in too narrow last night. It restricted us a lot at times. However, other than that he had another good game and picked up an assist.

 

Milner - I just really do not get the point in having him on the pitch, he offers nothing of value. When he is out wide he messes around on the ball rather than putting it in the box before the opposition have time to get prepared. Worst of all is his delivery from set pieces, it is appallingly bad and it is time to give someone else the responsibility.

Just as I am thinking that, he plays a one-two with Can which leads to Can scoring. Is that enough for a full 90 minutes on the pitch? For me it is not enough, he is contributing lots of sweat and running around aimlessly, but not having enough effect on the game.

 

Can - had a good game, particularly after being given freedom following the arrival of Henderson. He looked to change pace with forward runs carrying the ball. Scored a good goal as well.

 

Wijnaldum - only lasted quarter of an hour before suffering an ankle injury.

 

Salah - should have scored a couple more at least. Once more his pace and movement caused the opposition no end of problems. Fully deserved his goal.

 

Firmino - was at the centre of everything. They could not handle him at all, other than grabbing his shirt, which happened a lot other than just the goal being scored. Should have done better with a couple of headed chances.

 

Oxlade-Chamberlain - had a decent game, caused problems with his workrate and pace.

 

Subs:

Henderson - came on in the 17th minute to replace Wijnaldum. Had a real influence on the match with some incisive passes.

Sturridge - replaced Salah in the 74th minute, had little real impact other than the goal, but that is what he is there to do, score goals.

Grujic - brought on to give Firmino a break in the 85th minute and barely got involved.

Written by Tris Burke November 02 2017 09:02:35