Δευτέρα, 11 Απριλίου 2016

Tactical Analysis: Liverpool - Stoke City 4-1/Premier League/11-4-2016

Despite Klopp making seven changes to the line up which faced up Dortmund on Thursday, Liverpool were able to overcome the obstacle of Stoke City. As usual, Stoke approached the game defensively, trying to exploit Crouch’s power in the air as well as the strong wind around the Merseyside area. Although Liverpool did well to break the opposition’s strong defense down, it wasn’t the same case for set pieces and corners

Set piece problems continue
 Liverpool gave away their lead, which came from a splendid strike from Alberto Moreno, after a header by Bojan Krkic. As the ball is delivered inside the box, Kolo Toure is marking no one while on the same time he keeps every Stoke player onside. Bojan takes advantage of the Ivorian’s poor positioning and gets behind Ojo, who should mark the striker closely.

Toure defends poorly

Again, coming from a set piece, Cameron had a huge chance to get Stoke back in the game, only to watch Simon Mignolet denying him with a wonderful save. Kolo Toure starts the run too soon to keep the dangerous Peter Crouch away from the ball, but he doesn’t realize that he keeps onside two Stoke players, who are behind the Liverpool defense. 

Liverpool stretch the opposition apart
In order to break up Stoke’s defense, the Liverpool full backs are high on the pitch stretching Mark Hughes side. Ojo and Sturridge sit between the lines, waiting for the chance to get inside the box, as Firmino waits for the ball just behind those two. In addition, since Milner and Stewart rest behind, Allen finds the opportunity to get higher on the pitch giving options to Toure. 

 Ojo makes wonders, Sturridge scores
 This image shows exactly the same example of how Liverpool attacked Stoke’s defense. Stewart and Milner stay behind aware of a possible counter attack. Moreno and Clyne are high on the pitch, with the Spaniard giving options to Ojo who works this time as a winger. Sturridge makes the run into the box and Allen is ready to copy the striker’s move. Finally, Firmino, in his no.10 role always behind Sturridge and Ojo, gives choices to the young Englishman, who ends up assisting his partner after getting away from Shaqiri with an out-of-this-world move.

 Tight space, yet nice play
 Every Stoke player, apart from Crouch, is defending creating a very tight space for Liverpool to play with the ball. However, the Reds find a way to overcome this wall of Stoke players with Firmino shooting on target, following some great passing by his teammates as it is seen in this image.