Explaining Liverpool's Pressing Against Manchester City

Explaining Liverpool's Pressing Against Manchester City

In Liverpool’s most recent contest, The Reds achieved a 0-0 draw at home to title rivals, Manchester City. The match was cagey, conservative and respectful, and despite Liverpool restricting City to just two shots on target, some viewers weren’t happy with the home side's work without the ball. The main viewer that I’m referencing here is Sky’s co-commentator on the day, Gary Neville, as he spent large portions of the match pointing out that Liverpool ‘weren’t right’, and that they …
Liverpool's Midfield Imbalance

Liverpool's Midfield Imbalance

So far this season, Liverpool have accumulated 12 points after winning their first four matches of the campaign, even despite the Reds barely moving into second gear. Klopp's title challengers have thus far won 4-0, 2-0, 1-0 and 2-1, but in one of those contests, Liverpool struggled considerably to regain control more so than in their previous three matches. Against Leicester City and despite collecting all three points, the team were lucky to escape with the win having lost the …
Leicester 1-2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Leicester 1-2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

After a series of games in which one team opened themselves up to be spatially exploited, and two decided to sit tight and deep, Leicester offered a new and different challenge to those Liverpool have already faced this season. Leicester were far more aggressive than previous opponents, but the game was largely characterised by a brief and effective period of Liverpool dominance, followed by a resolute, controlled defensive display to cap the remainder of the first half, and then an …
Liverpool 1-0 Brighton: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 1-0 Brighton: A Tactical Breakdown

On the final game of the 2017/18 season, Liverpool romped to a 4-0 victory against Brighton, but this time around, Chris Hughton was determined for the type of game and result to be completely different to the preceding meeting between the two sides. Brighton set up in a 4-5-1 off ball formation. In recent games, both this season and last season, Liverpool have come up against a number of teams at Anfield looking to defend rigidly, and fight for a …
Crystal Palace 0 - 2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Crystal Palace 0 - 2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool's 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park was a perfect result. The performance itself though was a great deal detached from perfect. LFC's attacking brilliance is regularly lauded and rightfully praised, however, the response to the victory against Palace does not accurately reflect the performance itself, nor the underwhelming work of the forwards and midfield against a low block, again. Andrew Beasley wrote an excellent piece praising Liverpool, particularly the defence, and whilst his analysis of the defence is largely agreeable, …
Tactical Analysis: All Shots Conceded in Game 1 vs West Ham

Tactical Analysis: All Shots Conceded in Game 1 vs West Ham

If you haven't got the memo yet, Liverpool won't be conceding any goals this season thanks to Virgil simply swearing at anybody who lets the ball come into the box and Alisson dealing with whatever small amount that Virgil's swearing fails to deter. https://twitter.com/babuyagu/status/1028711576071753729 This is great obviously for us Liverpool fans but sucks for me as someone who enjoys analysing the goals we concede to see where the failures lie tactically/individually. Therefore, I have decided to look at all …
Liverpool 4-0 West Ham: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool picking up where they left off at the end of the 2017/18 season would have been the perfect way to kick start a league season, and Liverpool did just that. There were 92 days between Liverpool's last home league game against Brighton and the opening fixture against West Ham, but the results were identical: 4-0 drubbings. However, while the results may have been the same, the personnel and the tactics were certainly not. Alisson and Keïta were the only real …
Liverpool 2018/19: A Tactical Preview

Liverpool 2018/19: A Tactical Preview

How do Liverpool play? It's a simple question, but with the arrival of both Naby Keïta, Fabinho and Alisson, as well as the progression of Liverpool's tactics under Jürgen Klopp since he joined in 2016, the answer requires a more detailed response than the question initially indicates. There are three main tactical phases in football: on-ball, off-ball and the transition. With Liverpool's signings and their skillsets, the on-ball phase may be the one most different this season. Hence, we'll start …
Injecting Forward Passing Into Liverpool's Midfield

Injecting Forward Passing Into Liverpool's Midfield

In his first ever press conference as Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp was asked about the style of play we should expect to see the team play during his tenure, ‘Umschaltspiel’, he replied. This is a German footballing term but it roughly translates to ‘shift game’, which essentially means ‘transition game’ in England. Two full seasons later, it’s safe to say that Liverpool is now a side that thrives on exploiting moments in transition using speed, energy and the ability to …
Would the 3-5-2 formation suit Liverpool?

Would the 3-5-2 formation suit Liverpool?

Gareth Southgate’s England have been playing a relatively unused and potentially interesting variation of 3-5-2 formation at the World Cup – with a lopsided back three, wing-backs who are multi-faceted and a three-man midfield with only one defensive player in it. It’s a well-balanced formation that suits England very well. The back three is shielded by Jordan Henderson, but ahead of him, there are four very attacking individuals who are able to link up, drop deep and run in behind. …
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