Δευτέρα, 16 Μαΐου 2016

Tactical Analysis: West Bromwich Albion - Liverpool 1-1/Premier League/15-5-2016

In the last game of the season Liverpool faced West Bromwich at Hawthorns. A fairly boring game finished level after Jordon Ibe’s solo goal cancelled West Brom’s lead taken with a beautiful strike by Salomon Rondon. Klopp’s men were woeful both attackingly and defensively wise, hence there is no attacking play worth analysis. The only positive sign was Cameron Brannagan in midfield. The final 8th place means that the only way European football will be played next year at Anfield is a win on Wednesday.

Smith's lack of attention
 The defense, consisted of Flanagan, Skrtel, Lucas and Smith was horrendous throughout the game. West Brom got in front, following a bad pass in the midfield. Skrtel is sitting too deep as Lucas isn’t aware of Rondon making the run behind him. In addition Brad Smith should mark Rondon or at least get quickly back. Only until the ball is delivered to Rondon, does the youngster sprint towards the attacker, showing a total lack of awareness.

Rondon unmarked
 Rondon created all type of problems for the Liverpool defense and should have scored in a number of occasions. In this instance, Brad Smith once again fails to defend on the flank forcing Lucas getting out of position. Skrtel shows once more that he isn’t able of adapting to the Klopp system as he stays too deep without on the same time marking someone closely. This situation finds Rondon alone in the edge of the box catching, at the end of the move, a header just wide.

Three players keeping everyone onside
 It gets kind of repetitive to mention the same thing every week out, but Liverpool players are unable to defend set pieces properly. As the ball is delivered, there are three Liverpool players on the same line with just one West Brom player. That means that every other West Brom attacker behind him is onside. Not only this, but the one West Brom player in front, Rondon eventually manages to fire a powerful header in the post showing the inconvenience of this Liverpool defense.

Ojo's lazyness
Sheyi Ojo has been excellent lately showing great ability when attacking. However he lacks awareness when defending set pieces being lazy marking his player. In this picture Salomon Rondon is in the heart of the Liverpool box all alone with Ojo nowhere near him. Moreover, when the West Brom attacker miscues his shot, Ojo stops running towards him, giving the striker time to unleash another effort on goal.

Πέμπτη, 12 Μαΐου 2016

Tactical Analysis: Liverpool - Chelsea 1-1/ Premier League/11-5-2016

Christian Benteke’s late equalizer secured Liverpool a point in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Anfield. After some great chances in the first fifteen minutes, Liverpool didn’t show the desire to win the game, hence the rejuvenated Hazard found the opportunity to score a fantastic solo goal. Chelsea looked also dangerous while counter attacking, with Simon Mignolet making some outstanding saves. But, all this doesn’t matter as every Liverpool fan’s attention is on the Europa League final on Wednesday. 

Tactically correct, skillfully wrong
Hazard scored a wonderful solo goal to give Chelsea the lead taking on four Liverpool players. However it is interesting how bad Liverpool defended. Although Milner and Can are in good positions Can gives space to Hazard going in the other way. Moreover, Lovren, who again is in the right spot, as the Belgian is one on one with him doesn’t move towards him letting him have a free shot.

Opportunities are wasted frustratingly
 Liverpool were awful for the majority of the game until Klopp made his substitutions. However this situation was caused by the selfishness of a lot of players shooting from distance. In this case Sturridge has the ball in the edge of the box. Lallana is on the far post waiting for a cross, Milner asks for the ball unmarked, Firmino runs towards Sturridge to give him options and Coutinho is standing behind the Englishman alone. Disturbingly, Sturridge decides to shoot aimlessly causing frustration.

Substitutions change the game

 Klopp’s changes really helped the side to get back into the game. Joe Allen makes a superb cross into the box which eventually ends up to Ojo. The young Englishman gets behind Azpilicueta in the far post. At the same time, as Liverpool throw bodies into the box, with the presence of the physical Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge is unmarked, despite all the blue shirts around him.

Benteke's presence is useful
 Although Begovic gifted Liverpool the equalizer, was it a good cross from Ojo, it could have well ended up in the back of the net. Benteke again is inside the box providing danger for the Chelsea defenders while Sturridge is once again totally unmarked on the edge of the box waiting for a poor clearance or a pass from Ojo.

Τρίτη, 10 Μαΐου 2016

Tactical Analysis: Liverpool - Watford 2-0/Premier League/8-5-2016

Following another magical European night, Klopp rested, yet again, a lot of his star players in the premier league. That didn’t create problems for the Liverpool team, which overcame the obstacle of Watford by 2-0. Klopp’s focus is certainly the Europa League, thus young players will continue to play in the final two Premier League games. Benteke made a rare appearance on the starting line up, contributing to the first goal. 

Benteke poor positioning
 This image shows why Christian Benteke should play with a partner up front. Coutinho gets the ball inside the box, however there is noone inside the penalty area to notch the ball into the net. Benteke, as the main striker should be in the highlighted area. Instead he is behind every Watford defender leaving no options to Coutinho, who ends up shooting just wide.

Benteke plays behind the defense
 Liverpool caught the Watford defense sleeping, after a quickly executed foul. Christian Benteke plays behind the defense but is aware of it hence, before the ball is delivered to him, he gets onside. As he makes a simple header, the incoming Joe Allen finishes calmly, getting Liverpool in front.

 Lucas steps poorly out of the defense
 Watford could have pulled one back, wasn’t it for Mignolet denying Ighalo outstandingly. Lucas Leiva partnered Martin Skrtel in the defense although he is a defensive midfielder. This flaw is highlighted in this image. Lucas steps out of the defensive line to mark closely Troy Deeney, not realizing that he creates a huge gap between Skrtel and Moreno where Ighalo could run into.

Gegenpressing once more results in a goal 
This is yet another example of how effective is the way that Klopp wants his team to press. Although the ball is in Watford’s half, three Liverpool players move forward instead of going back. Ojo ends up intercepting the ball and Roberto Firmino takes advantage of this scoring a solo goal.