Hamzah Khalique-Loonat

Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool (1-5): A Tactical Breakdown

Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool (1-5): A Tactical Breakdown

When Liverpool lost 5-0 at the Etihad earlier this season, I mentioned in my breakdown that typing in the scoreline just felt wrong, but there is something immensely gratifying about typing out the aggregate scoreline for the Champions League tie: 5-1. I might even do it again. 5-1. Lovely. Anyway, there are five minutes until kick-off, and I’m desperately searching through Twitter. Pep has named two wingers, three attacking midfielders, one full-back, two centre-backs, a striker, a defensive midfielder and …
An Ode to Liverpool's Flying Full-Backs

An Ode to Liverpool's Flying Full-Backs

It's been a remarkable season for Liverpool, who are likely to secure consecutive Champions League qualifications since 2007-08/08-09 and have had a fantastic run in the Champions League thus far. Instead of merely consolidating the club's top four position, there have been clear signs of improvement and development across both the club and the squad. Two areas, in particular, have been addressed, to most supporters' surprise, with minimal transfer expenditure: the full-back positions. After a season on the substitution bench, …
Player Ratings as Liverpool's Undefeated Derby Streak Continues

Player Ratings as Liverpool's Undefeated Derby Streak Continues

"Need someone to do the post-match player ratings" was the request from AI's supremo Gags Tandon. "Great!", I thought; after wallopping City, Liverpool look like they can trounce any team in the world right now, and this will be my chance to dish 10 ratings all round for perhaps the greatest derby mauling of all time. How wrong I was. As I watched the game, I saw sparks and flickers of something, as Liverpool had the ball, but ultimately, Everton …
Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City: A Tactical Breakdown

Fine lines. The thinnest of margins. The point at which dreamland meets bedlam. Where delirium bisects mayhem. That's where Liverpool fans found themselves as they watched the unthinkable happen. Liverpool had pressed Manchester City into submission in January, but Pep Guardiola, the greatest manager and tactical innovator of his generation would surely not let it happen again, would he? Acutely aware of the pressing prowess of Liverpool, Guardiola set City up with Fernandinho in the same position as he was in …
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

After the international break, it's always interesting to see how a team performs, and Liverpool appeared to start brightly against Palace, but soon it became clear that if Liverpool were to take anything from this game, they needed to really work for it, as simple passes went astray, and frustration built up. If you watched the game, it was plain to see what Palace were trying to do, with runners working off Benteke's second ball, what we're focussing on though …
Salah or Suarez: Who reigns supreme?

Salah or Suarez: Who reigns supreme?

28 league goals so far, and he doesn't seem to be slowing down: Mo Salah is blitzing his way through records as fast as he leaves defenders chasing dust on the pitch. It's truly remarkable, seeing Salah develop into a second striker, as Klopp looks to wean the very best out of his skills. But having scored every 85 minutes in the league so far, the inevitable comparison to Liverpool's last Golden Boot winner was always going to be made: …
Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

There's no game that manages to make me as uneasy as the Manchester United tie at Old Trafford: genuinely, I can't eat on matchdays. Maybe it's the trauma of defeats and the subsequent stick that every young fan gets at school that's caused it - who knows, but in all seriousness, after Liverpool won 0-3 there back in 2013/14 - with three penalties awarded to Liverpool - I was, and still am, utterly convinced Brendan Rodgers performed some juju or …
Liverpool 4-1 West Ham: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 4-1 West Ham: A Tactical Breakdown

"It was a joy to watch, to be honest." - Jürgen Klopp
Jürgen Klopp was all-smiles as he delivered his post-match press conference, and who could bemoan him for being so, after such a strong performance from Liverpool. The Holy Trinity of Salah, Firmino and Mané not only bagged a goal apiece but thrived and attacked with intensity across the match. Liverpool's full-backs, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, shone too with their offensive contributions remarkable, consistent and at a high …
Do Liverpool Need a Creative Midfielder to Break Down Defensive Teams?

Do Liverpool Need a Creative Midfielder to Break Down Defensive Teams?

On the most recent edition of the Tactics Weekly pod, host Daniel Rhodes quizzed Paul Dalglish in an AI:PRO Q&A Special (you can listen for FREE for one week). One particular question (below) posed was that of breaking down defensive sides, an issue Liverpool have had for quite a while - harking back to troubles under Rodgers.
Do Liverpool need a creative CM to break down a low block, or is the positional play (i.e. width & using the pace …
Liverpool FC - Financial Analysis

Liverpool FC - Financial Analysis

Amidst the furore of the January transfer window, the UEFA European Club Footballing Landscape report was published, a report which UEFA assert is 'like no other publication of its kind'. In terms of scope and depth though, it supersedes the analysis of the oft-quoted Deloitte Money League, which I broke down with respect to Liverpool FC here. That being said, I would recommend you read that first, as an introductory piece, to provide some context to the following discussion. For …
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