Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

On Sunday afternoon, perhaps the worst United side in living memory lined up against arguably the best Liverpool side in living memory, and most certainly the best side in the Premier League era. With Mohamed Salah unavailable through injury, Sadio Mané was positioned on the right of Liverpool’s 4-3-3, and Divock Origi on the left. Conceptually, even without Salah, these two forwards were supposed to operate inside United’s wingbacks, and attack the spaces outside of the centre-backs. From this, it …
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: A Tactical Breakdown

After a series of underwhelming performances, Liverpool's victory against Arsenal was a significant step in the right direction. Whereas in previous games, Liverpool had conceded a number of chances, and defended poorly, through not pressing effectively or making positional errors, the fixture on Saturday evening was far more akin to the efficient, composed and effective performances which came to define Liverpool's ruthless machine-like intensity over the course of last season. Liverpool set up in their typical 4-3-3 formation, but whereas …
Southampton 1-2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool's start to the season always appeared challenging. But how Liverpool would respond to this challenge would likely be the best indicator of how well the team will perform in the coming months. Playing Southampton away from home was the first potential banana skin of the season, even more so due to the 120 minutes, Liverpool had to play against Chelsea in midweek. Nonetheless, Liverpool was expected to win, perhaps not comfortably, but win as the better side. Whilst Liverpool …
Liverpool 4-1 Norwich: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 4-1 Norwich: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool's Premier League game against Norwich was the first genuine test Jürgen Klopp's men have faced since becoming European Champions. This was the first occasion in which points were at stake, the team would be able to set a marker and display their intent for the season. The scoreline indicates a strong performance, and the side picking up from where it left off. Yet there were a number of signs that indicate both change and qualitative variance compared to last …
Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich: A Tactical Breakdown

There are very few clubs with the prestige and history of Bayern Munich. Irrespective of their current form or standing, when a club such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona are set to visit, everyone sits a little straighter. These fixtures are precisely what makes Europe's premier competition the best club competition in the world, in any sport. Yet when Bayern Munich were drawn against Liverpool, it was one of the few occasions that they were not immediately considered …
Liverpool 1-1 Leicester City: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 1-1 Leicester City: A Tactical Breakdown

With a number of injuries and a suspension to deal with, even after the team sheets were announced, it was unclear exactly how Liverpool would set up. Initial reports indicated Gini Wijnaldum would fill in at right-back, in Alexander-Arnold's absence, but instead, it was club captain, Jordan Henderson who would feature there, and Naby Keïta who would function as one of the pivots in the 4-2-3-1 system. Liverpool's setup Henderson and Robertson played as the Liverpool full-backs, and functioned tactically as the …
Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal: A Tactical Breakdown

The Times’ David Walsh called Liverpool’s 5-1 deconstruction of Arsenal “their best performance of the season”. Liverpool barely pushed themselves. This was a clinical, ruthless and efficient dismembering of Arsenal, and precisely why Pep Guardiola said Liverpool are "the best team in the world right now". To thoroughly outplay Arsenal, score five goals, and create opportunities for at least two more, are doing so without breaking a sweat, and while needlessly opening up space for Arsenal to exploit was intimidatingly …
Liverpool 4-0 Red Star Belgrade: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 4-0 Red Star Belgrade: A Tactical Breakdown

After a drab affair against Huddersfield, Liverpool fans were craving for an impressive performance. Yet, for the opening 20 minutes, Liverpool looked a far cry from their fluid, incisive best. But this was no typical Liverpool lineup. Klopp has employed the 4-3-3 system to good effect in his three seasons at Liverpool, after initially starting with a 4-2-3-1, which served him well at Dortmund. Having a balance between attack and defence is central to both of these systems, and as …
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, …
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