Single word yields best result

Football News: Liverpool v Paris Saint-Germain - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Paris Saint-Germain - A Liverpool Perspective
Image from: freelargeimages.com

Liverpool v Paris Saint-Germain A Liverpool Perspective

 

An excellent team performance, the midfield overran PSG's, though they were not helped by Marquinhos playing virtually as a third centre back to help protect against Liverpool's front three, as the full backs were being constantly caught out of position. The biggest disappointment was that LFC conceded two and very nearly ended up drawing with a team that threatened very little and should have been long dispatched and the game put to bed.

The tactics were pretty much spot on, harry them into mistakes early on, then drop off and let them have the ball in non-threatening areas, before jumping in again to close them down when they did reach threatening areas. Neymar was completely closed out of the match and, instead of putting in some effort to get into the game, he just accepted defeat meekly.

The game showed the difference between a team working together and 11 players playing for themselves. Liverpool are a team, PSG are a bunch of individuals. They are not helped by Tuchel as manager, he is not the strongest tactically, nor is he particularly good at man-management. He had troubles at Dortmund with player power and was unable to harness the players into showing a real team ethic and it seems he is still having the same issue in France.

 

Klopp - got it pretty much spot on. The tactics worked to perfection, though there were a couple of errors. Substitutions were much better, no Matip mixing up the defence, Firmino to lift the team and crowd just as it seemed they might be flagging. Any complaints would be merely nitpicking after that game, despite the 2 goals conceded. However those 2 goals are a concern if the team is going to continue to fail to make the most of its chances. Rating: 8.5.

 

Alisson - I realised after I rewatched it and sat down to write this that I could remember very little of Alisson's involvement in the game. Not because he was not involved, but just that he has inspired such confidence in his ability that I am not looking for weaknesses and any glaring errors will automatically stick in my head anyway. After years of dodgy keepers, I actually have such faith in this one that I am relaxed about him and what he will do. Rating: ? (I am going to have to make sure to watch him more closely in future!).

 

Alexander-Arnold - the out ball every single time was Alexander-Arnold thanks to PSG's panic at the thought of Salah getting at them. The best thing about it was he was not letting that ball go to waste. His link up play is top class and he even stayed composed and put in some decent crosses. He had no fears about Neymar, as the midfield covered so he was free to get up field as much as he wanted and had the pace to get back and cover before any damage could be done. Rating: 8.5.

 

Gomez - had probably his best game in a Liverpool shirt. There were a few errors, but in a young lad in his first real run of games at centre half in a back four at the top level you have to expect that he will make mistakes. Also good that he had the sense to know that the ball to Alexander-Arnold was always on and to use it as much as possible. Rating: 8.

 

van Dijk - that was a game well suited to van Dijk's skillset and it showed. He seems to grow in games like that and is switched on. It is difficult to remember Cavani getting much of a sniff of the ball at all. Rating: 8.

 

Robertson - I have seen a few people are critical of his performance last night, which I do not understand. Yes he made a mistake on the first goal and Mbappe did once turn him inside out and then back the right way again but, on the whole, he played Mbappe really well. He saved his forward runs for the right time and did not allow Mbappe much space in behind him to run into. Added to that he did get involved at times on the attack as well. He impressed me last night with his patience and his reading of the game. He kept the team's shape well. It was not the marauding, rampaging Robbo performance we often see, but it was an excellent one that ensured Mbappe barely featured in the game. Rating: 8.5.

 

Wijnaldum - Once more excellent, the goal at the weekend has given him a huge lift in confidence. There were constant runs forward into good areas to receive the ball and create problems for the opposition, one of them saw him win the penalty. He was back breaking up play too. He needs to keep it up though. Rating: 9.

 

Henderson - a very good game, including a short spell where he singlehandedly stopped PSG just as they looked like getting a run at the Liverpool defence three times. He was organising and prompting, made a couple of forward bursts and was always there to cover. Rating: 7.5.

 

Milner - Milner has taken his game to a whole new level this season. It just makes you wish he was a few years younger, so we could look forward to more of this kind of performance. I was far from convinced by him in central midfield when he first joined, now he would be the first midfield name on the team sheet for me. He did show signs of tiredness in the final ten minutes, though that was after a lung bursting chase back to put in a great tackle. Being Milner, he was still able to get up and down the pitch in the final few, despite showing signs of being tired! He has made himself indispensable and reliable from the penalty spot. Rating: 9.

 

Salah - teams are doubling and tripling up on him, leaving the space that Alexander-Arnold and the midfield were able to exploit. The defence were too afraid to go out to him, in case he got past them, so the PSG team all ended up far too narrow, opening up large open areas of the pitch to be attacked and making it difficult for them to pick up loose balls. He was creating space for himself, taking the ball in tight areas and beating his opponent. Put in some good deliveries from corners as well. However he did make a couple of mistakes with his passing, including one poor pass which led to their equaliser at 2-2. He is clearly still short of sharpness but it is getting there. He just needs a goal that is not chalked off afterwards and he will be off and running again. Rating: 7.

 

Mane - like Salah he causes havoc and terrifies defences, who are scared of leaving him space in behind. Despite that, he was able to get room to run at them a couple of times and really cause problems. His skill and acceleration make him a real handful to cope with. Rating: 7.

 

Sturridge - had a good game, scoring a goal and really probably should have added a second too. His pace is no longer there, but he still have a lovely touch on the ball and is always a threat if he can be found. The issue is that he is still trying to play the way he did when he could run. The bringing the ball to a standstill to make a defender set himself before launching himself past before the defender can react achieves nothing any more. He does not have the acceleration or pace to achieve anything doing that. Once he stops slowing up the play to try that, he will be much more useful to a quick attacking side like Liverpool. As it is he ends up wasting a chance to break sometimes. Rating: 7.

 

Subs:

Firmino - his arrival in the 72nd minute lifted the crowd and he caused the PSG headaches as well as scoring. He only needs one eye he is that good! Rating: 7.

Shaqiri - took the place of Salah in the 85th minute and played like a squashed down Firmino, chasing, harrying, pressing, covering in front of the full back. Very impressive in the short time he was on the pitch. Rating: 6.5.

Fabinho - nice to see him (especially as it meant Matip would not come on!) but coming on in the dying seconds meant he never got any chance to do anything. Rating: 5.

Written by Tris Burke September 19 2018 19:06:19

 

Discuss rumours and transfers on our Liverpool rumours web page