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

 

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Sevilla v Liverpool Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective
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Sevilla v Liverpool


Well, as that game truly lived up to the old cliche of a 'game of two halves', I will have to review each half separately. Tactically the game was not as one-sided as the scoreline might suggest in either half, but the difference between the two teams attitude and application in each half was night and day. In the first half Liverpool were efficient, committed and on their game, in the second they were complacent and sluggish. Sevilla were the same but just the opposite way round, sluggish and complacent in the first half, efficient, committed and on their game in the second.

Sevilla did have a couple of good chances to score while the game was at 1-0, but overall in the first half they were outplayed by a Liverpool side that was more 'up for it'. Liverpool were more aggressive, they were in their faces, harrying them and precise and incisive on the ball. The early goal silenced the crowd and it was clear the Sevilla players had let it affect them, as their passing was loose and their play was panicky.

Half time changed everything, they came out fired up and individual errors handed them an early goal, then a second goal and Liverpool were looking ragged. The changes made by Berrizzo at half time had made a genuine difference, Banega was getting more of the ball with time and space as Liverpool looked to just drop off and contain them. A couple of substitutions by Klopp looked to have balanced the tie out and the game seemed to be petering out, with both sides missing good chances, only for a late, late equaliser to be struck.

It was a game littered with defensive errors by both teams, the goals all being more of a result of them than great play as such, certainly not one for the purists. A draw still leaves Liverpool in the driving seat in the group, with a draw being enough to earn progression to the knockout rounds. It is only after the next game that we will know whether that point really was enough or not.

Though I am beginning to doubt my own eyes, due to the comments on the Liverpool site, which suggest LFC actually lost 6-0 and were hopelessly outplayed in both halves. So comprehensively outplayed in the first half that N'Zonzi must have been subbed at half time to rest him for the weekend, as they obviously did not need him for this match. Just shows how wrong all the news outlets have it when they reported the score as 3-3!


Klopp - it is easy to say, with hindsight, that Klopp made a dreadful error in picking Moreno to start against Sevilla, but everyone deserves a chance to redeem themselves. As it transpired, Moreno was unable to keep his head in the game, he is clearly badly affected by all the stick he took after the Europa League final against his old club and his emotions got the better of him. The only way that anyone could know for sure if that would happen, or if Moreno had matured enough recently to play his way through any issues, was to play him.

I have also read countless whines about how it took him too long to make the subs after the first goal, but that is simply not true, the problem is the amount of time it takes players to get ready to come on is ludicrous in modern day football. I understand they have to warm up to make sure they do not pick up an injury, but why are they not fully kitted up on the bench? Is it really that hard to be ready to go on quickly?

Other than that, I do not really see what he did so wrong. Liverpool created countless chances, they could and probably should have added at least one more goal but were let down by individual errors. The defence has tightened up, which is why this is not happening every week, as was evidenced by the drilled line catching Sevilla offside on a number of occasions. There are signs of progress, even people could stop abusing and threatening the players long enough to see them.


Karius - while he was not actually at fault for any of the goals, that was his least convincing performance this season. However, despite failing to come for a couple of balls he did still make two saves which I would not have expected Mignolet to make where he the one playing last night. So, even on his worst night, he still feels like a step forward in that position and did not actually play badly at all.


Gomez - good first half, but like most of the side he struggled at times in the second, once Nolito was taken out of his pocket through subsitution especially.


Lovren - actually probably the best of the defenders, just was not helped by those around him and there was no protection from midfield.


Klavan - struggled a bit at times with the pace they had up front, but had not had a bad game until his weak header allowed them to score the equaliser.


Moreno - he got too emotionally caught up and gave away a couple of silly free kicks, picked up a needless yellow card, chased inside needlessly, then was badly at fault on their first two goals. Firstly giving away a slopy free kick, followed by not doing his job at the front post by ensuring no one got in front of him. Then his terrible touch led to him bringing down a Sevilla player in the box. His head had completely gone by that point and it was little surprise Klopp took him off as soon as he could.


Henderson - did ok in the first half but struggled badly in the second as he was overrun in the early stages as Coutinho failed to track back and he was pretty much alone in trying to break up the play. Did not do enough to gee up his teammates after they scored.


Wijnaldum - I could not see what he offered to the team at all in that game. He was sluggish from the first moment to the last and offered absolutely no protection to the backline at all. Their midfield was running off him constantly and he was just standing in no man's land making no effort to track back. Away games seem a real problem for him as he just goes missing regularly.


Mane - was excellent apart from a couple of embarrassing dives. Other than that he was a real threat and fully deserved his goal from a good header.


Salah - had an off night. Just never really got into the game, but that could be because they gave him no time and space, but that helped give Mane and Firmino more of both as they were too focused on him.


Firmino - best player in a Liverpool shirt last night. Actually no, he was the best player on the pitch. A genuine threat throughout the 90mins, unlike Sevilla's best player, Banega, who had a stinking first 45min. He was truly excellent, just a shame he apparently is unable to score goals or he would have more than 9 in the 19 he has played this season.


Coutinho - was excellent in the first half but terrible in the second as he played way too far forward and left a gaping hole on his flank. Even worse was that it meant they were able to attack Moreno at will and Coutinho offered him no cover. I do not understand why none of the players seem able to think for themselves and realise they need to act when the team is under pressure. All he needed to do was drop off slightly and help out his fullback.


Subs:

Can - replaced Coutinho in the 63rd minute as Klopp tried to shore up the huge gaping hole on the left side of midfield. Had little effect on the game apart from one good run which was let down by his inability to get a good final ball in. Like Wijnaldum he seemed to be caught a bit in no man's land when Sevilla had possession.

Oxlade-Chamberlain - came on in the 87th minute but offered next to nothing as he barely saw the ball.

Milner - with Moreno having a stinker, Milner was the replacement in the 63rd minute. The team looked a little more solid and he did get one great chance to provide a ball into a waiting forward but he made a mess of it by simply electing to play it across the box even though he had time and space to pick out a pass.

Written by Tris Burke



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