Written by Daniel
Ok Fellow Liverpudlians ! Let’s Discuss Liverpool ! Let’s Talk Some Reds !
The ‘biggest game in English football’ failed to live up to its billing. Liverpool dominated possession and led many statistics, however, they forgot to find the back of the net. Manchester United followed their usual gameplan at Anfield without any thought process of their own position in the league. The key players did not impact the game as they would have liked to, though some heroes stood up at crucial moments to prevent the game from being a disaster for their respective sides.
The Liverpool-United game failed to provide the spark that such an occasion warranted. The flawed tactical plan put out by Klopp and Ole neutralized each other. Liverpool lacked punch in their attack while United lacked inspiration. In possession, Liverpool breached many passing records but failed in terms of creating goals. United did have some good moments in the game, but did not capitalize on the few opportunities they were able to muster for themselves. As such, the biggest winner from this game happens to be Manchester City, who see their title chances boosted as a result of this Anfield stalemate.
Misfiring Front Three
The problem everyone is eager to know about is what has been ailing the Liverpool ‘front 3’. Is it because of the injured backline or perhaps the lack of creativity from the full-backs? Liverpool’s magical triumvirates are losing their usual killer instinct in front of goal. Nowadays, the understanding between them seems to have totally vanished. Firmino was the biggest miss of the three in the United game. He was not involved from the midfield nor did he find goalscoring positions inside the box. Salah didn’t fare any better either, with finishing being a major problem for the Egyptian king. The trend continued, taking his goalless tally to 4 Premier League games now. As for Mane, he was preoccupied with Wan-Bissaka, trying too hard to overcome him. Diogo Jota is seriously being missed and Liverpool need him back as soon as possible.
The Anfield debutant, Thiago, started pretty well and played a decent first half. He almost glided through the first and second lines of the United defense with ease but could not fluster any chances the forwards. In the second half, he was marked out and faded badly as the game wore on. Shaqiri did find spaces in the first 20 minutes but was soon shackled and then substituted. Wijnaldum lacked inspiration, lost in the middle having to deal with too many bodies in front of him. The energy from the Liverpool midfield has been slowly vanishing. Henderson needs to be slotted in the middle as soon as possible for the Liverpool machine to start functioning again.
Liverpool defense was the only positive from the match, and it was down to one man, Alisson Becker. He looked unbeatable on the day and saved the Reds from an Anfield defeat to their bitter rivals. His passing from the back was exemplary as well. Moreover, the makeshift centre backs, Fabinho and Henderson, did not put one foot wrong and restricted the shots on goal from United. However, Trent Alexander-Arnold made too many rash decisions, allowing Rashford and Martial to break down his flank. To make it worse, his crosses weren’t on the mark as they usually are.
WHAT WE LEARNED
The title showdown failed to provide any indication of where the title might end up come the end of the season. As such, the PL title is still up for grabs. Manchester City have the upper hand at the moment, but we can expect many twists and turns until the curtain finally drops. Until then, may the excitement and unpredictability continue !!