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 …
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 …
Porto 0-5 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Porto 0-5 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool are one of the few clubs still undefeated within the Champions League, but few expected the utterly dominant display, away to Porto, which effectively ended the tie. How then did Liverpool approach the game? For while the scoreline suggests a brutal decimation of Porto, it was not quite that simple. The match was predominantly played within the middle of the pitch, with action zones, average positions and the touch maps reflecting that. Indeed, Liverpool may have had a majority …
Southampton 0-2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Southampton 0-2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

It might just be me, but I do love a good-old 0-2 victory. Indeed, this was Liverpool's first 2-0 league victory of the season. And we should not knock that at all, a 2-0 is an underrated scoreline, it usually means control by one side within a fair game, a game in which the opposition is resolute enough to not concede more, but the winning team is focussed enough to not concede at all. That's a massive generalisation, and not …
A Critical Look at Loris Karius

A Critical Look at Loris Karius

Please note that this article was written before the Southampton game. Over the years, Liverpool have had persistent goalkeeping problems that have ultimately contributed to the club being unable to make decisive surges forward to win silverware. Liverpool’s last trophy was won in 2012 with Pepe Reina between the sticks, and a year later Simon Mignolet was signed to assume the position for the club moving forward. Since then, Liverpool haven’t won any form of silverware and the current manager …
Liverpool 2-2 Spurs: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 2-2 Spurs: A Tactical Breakdown

It was a thrilling game, in which the points were shared, but one in which the away side will be by far the happier of the two sides. Liverpool dominated the entirety of the first-half, scoring early, cutting through Spurs with ease and squandering glorious chance after chance. Liverpool's gameplan, to press aggressively and surrender the ball was good, and with Spurs using a 4-2-3-1, it became perfect. The spaces were there for Liverpool to exploit, and on a number of …
Huddersfield 0-3 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Huddersfield 0-3 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

If I were asked to sum up the Liverpool victory over Huddersfield, there's one term which would immediately spring to mind: game management. Quite often, football games aren't decided by tactics, errors, luck and the like all come into play from time to time, and usually, it's Liverpool making errors where they should not be doing so which costs them. For this game, however, Liverpool did not fall back into the same costly traps which we've seen many a time, …
How Did Swansea Tactically Outsmart Liverpool?

How Did Swansea Tactically Outsmart Liverpool?

"They are like a Formula 1 car. But at 4pm in London it will be difficult to speed, they would be a car like any other. We needed to make sure there was traffic, we could not let them have open roads to drive in." - Carlos Carvahal.
What a quote that is. Indeed, it tells a story of the game, but whilst it is catchy and well-rounded, it does not quite tell the story of the game, a game …
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