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Football News: Swansea City v Liverpool Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective

Swansea City v Liverpool Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective
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Swansea City v Liverpool

 

After the excitement of last week's win over Man City it was back to the grind of trying to pick up points against the strugglers at the bottom of the table. As usual it was a case of 'after the Lord Mayor's Show' and the intensity levels were almost non-existent. Slow passing, not patient, just slow. Passing side to side is fine if the ball is moved with zip across the turf, meaning players cannot react quickly enough to be positioned when the ball reaches its target. What we saw last night was rolled balls, back and forwards. The pressing was almost gone too.

This season performances and results have improved markedly over recent seasons against the teams outside the top 6, so hopefully this is just a blip. However there must be concern within the club at just how little the team created or even looked like creating and how little pressure was put on the Swans backline. Even more worrying was how an exceedingly average Jordan Ayew was made to look top class by a team which only had him to deal with and should have tightly marshalled him.

The lack of width was also astonishing. There was plenty of space down the flanks, as they kept their shape compact and refused to be drawn out, yet LFC made little to no use of it, choosing to try and run through the middle of the packed defence. Salah, Mane and Firmino are all good in the air, why not attack the byline and cross, instead of just rolling the ball around 30 yards from the goal and then swinging in a hopeful cross in from deep? It was a frustrating performance all round.

 


Klopp - he was as subdued as the performance, though still managed to get himself into an argument with a Swansea fan. It was really not a good night for Klopp. Never managed to get the players up for the game, never managed to influence things with substitutions. Very disappointing night all round from Klopp. Have to question why he only chose to make 2 subs when the game was crying out for decent delivery from wide and Alexander-Arnold was on the bench.

 

Karius - only really had one thing to deal with, as Swans were happy to sit back and hope to catch LFC out with a set piece. No blame for the goal. I have heard people attach blame to him for not dealing with the offside shot, but the players had all clearly stopped before it was hit.

 

Gomez - his worst game so far, never had any real defending to do, then made a mistake. Going forward he was pretty much useless with poor passing and crossing. Another game to learn from for the youngster, who looked like what he is, a centre back playing at full back.

 

Matip - awful. Did get one thing right, when he took one for the team and got booked. Other than that he looked sluggish and weak defensively and looked lacking in any ideas of what to do when he took the ball out of defence. He really needs to play better than that if he wants to keep his place.

 


van Dijk - not much different from Matip, apart from his passing being a little better and he looked quicker. Positionally all over the place, constantly running out to the fullback areas to cover Robertson when he should have been holding in the centre and sending out one of the midfielders. Does a lot of shouting, but most of the disorganisation stemmed from him yesterday, he would be better sorting that out first. And that header for the goal! Woeful. Hopefully just a lack of match sharpness. Hopefully.

 

Robertson - he was great against Man City, when his play was all about just doing, rather than having time to think about what to do. As soon as he has time to think he gets it wrong. His decision making is terrible when he has time and space. He crosses to no one but give him time and space and bodies in the box to aim at and he constantly plays the ball sideways or backwards. Another one who was truly dreadful. It is clear he needs to play with intensity to get the best out of him. It is up to him to impose that on his own play, rather than settle into the malaise of the rest.

 

Can - he was not as bad as the boo boys would have you think after the game, but he is a target now his contract is coming to an end, so gets the blame. However he did not do enough to protect the defence, he should have made sure Ayew could barely touch the ball before he was on him. In the role he was playing, you can live with his creativity and forward runs lacking, but he has to provide better protection to the defence.

 

Wijnaldum - just a waste of a shirt, as usual in away games. Offers nothing in attack and did nothing to help out defensively either. I fail to understand why he gets picked.

 

Oxlade-Chamberlain - was the only midfielder offering anything to the team. Worked hard but struggled to really make the most of the ball. It was a surprise when he was taken off.

 

Salah - his worst game in a Liverpool shirt. Still managed some flashes of danger and missed a couple of half-chances, but was kept very quiet and given no space to operate in nor quality balls to work with.

 

Mane - still struggling. Offered very little last night but still could have scored but for his standing foot slipping from under him. Nowhere near his best but he got little in the way of service.

 

Firmino - another one who struggled with no service, which saw him dropping deeper to try and get on the ball. Difficult for his pressing to have any effect on an opposition who had nothing of the ball. Would have felt so different about the game if his late header had gone in instead of hitting the post and coming out.

 

 

Subs:

Lallana - it was an odd choice to replace Oxlade-Chamberlain with Lallana, but that was what Klopp did in the 68th minute. While Lallana is always neat and tidy and shows some lovely footwork, he does not attack a game with pace and intensity. He always looks to take more touches and that was exactly what the game did not need! Still looks a long way short of ready as well, which did not help, especially when Firmino's header rebounded off the post as he was a little slow to react, allowing the defender to make a challenge.

Ings - came on for Wijnaldum about 73 minutes after Wijnaldum should have been taken off. Showed promise, hard work, intensity, pace, he was exactly what the rest of the team were missing.

Written by Tris Burke January 23 2018 20:39:53