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Football News: Liverpool v Leicester City - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Leicester City - A Liverpool Perspective
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Liverpool v Leicester City A Liverpool Perspective

 

Not the best watch in difficult conditions, as both teams laboured to create any meaningful chances. All the genuinely good chances came about because of mistakes, rather than particularly good play, as the ball did odd things on that pitch. It was not only sometimes slow and other times normal, it was also not bouncing properly, which led to a lot of problems with passes going astray. That affected both sides and made the game a difficult watch, as neither team were able to play their best football on that surface.

Liverpool dominated the ball in the early stages, but lots of possession yielded very little in the way of clear cut chances and Leicester eventually forced their way back into it by dint of hard work. In the end, it was probably an even game as Leicester hustled Liverpool into too many mistakes and Liverpool never made their extra possession tell by truly getting at Leicester often enough. A fair result which moves LFC a further point ahead of Man City, without giving them the opportunity to get complacent.

 

Puel - started with the team set up wrong and allowed Liverpool to dominate early on but gradually adjusted his team to bring Leicester into it more. Never managed to find a way to get Vardy into the game, but he probably did about as well as possible with the tools he had to hand. Rating: 6.5.

 

Schmeichel - never really troubled or put under consistent pressure. The few shots he had a chance with were straightforward saves, though he did knock one right back into the danger zone in front of him. He was lucky there was no one there to capitalise. Rating: 5.

 

Pereira - good going forward and his defending has improved massively over the season, but he is still prone to falling asleep and getting caught out. Overall though, he dealt with Mane pretty well for the main part. Rating: 6.5.

 

Evans - he was all over the place. Hopeless performance from him and he could easily have cost the Foxes more goals if Liverpool had been able to get at him more. Evans usually plays on the left side of the centre back pairing and his positioning reflected his unease at being on the right side instead. Rating: 4.

 

Maguire - positionally he is still lacking but he does throw his body in where it hurts and is a big lump, so it is difficult to avoid hitting his head with a shot. He was very fortunate to get away with the foul on Mane only being a booking though and to not already be on a booking. Plus he scored their equaliser. Rating: 6.5.

 

Chilwell - pretty much anonymous for large parts of the game. Clearly has quality but struggled badly to use it. Rating: 5.

 

Gray - the lad has skill and pace, but spends most of the game hoiking the ball to no one in particular. He has the football intelligence of a dead slug after it has been sprinkled with salt. Up against Henderson but failed to cause him many problems at all. Rating: 4.5.

 

Mendy - worked hard getting in the way of passes and breaking up play. Offered little in the way of creativity and attacking but protected the back four really well. Rating: 7.

 

Ndidi - pretty much the same as Mendy, but with a little more forward movement. Rating: 7.

 

Maddison - incredibly disappointing performance from one of the better attacking midfielders around. Tried to take advantage of the makeshift right back by playing on the left and just left the Foxes exposed to Henderson's forward runs. Moved central and vanished pretty much from the game. Rating: 3.

 

Albrighton - once he was moved onto the wing Albrighton had a good game. Always works hard but also put in a good cross or two. Rating: 6.5.

 

Vardy - offered little apart from putting the frighteners up a shaky Matip. Did nothing to capitalise on how shaken up Matip was though. Rating: 5.

 

Subs:

Choudhury - replaced Maddison in the 75th minute. Worked hard to cover as Leicester looked to play out time. Rating: 5.5.

Okazaki - took the place of Gray in the 84th minute. Never got into the game at all. Rating: 5.

Iheanacho - brought on in the 90th minute to replace Vardy. Barely got a touch. Rating: 5.

 


Klopp - made a lot of mistakes, in my opinion, in this game, though he had little choice in terms of selection due to injuries and illness. The main mistake was in only getting the half LFC were to attack in the second half cleared up, that did not help at all. The only chances Liverpool made in the first half were due to the odd bounces and ball not running properly catching out defenders and that also caused havoc for Liverpool's defence. It would have made more sense to clear the other half and have Leicester stuck with dealing with the ball not running truly.

The other big error was the substitutions of Lallana and Sturridge. Both players want far too much time on the ball and waste good attacking positions because of it. Neither are playing at all well either, so it made no sense to use them when going for a win. Rating: 4.

 

Alisson - struggled with the surface, though did play one cracking pass out to the wing. Kept it as a draw with a reaction save from Firmino's attempted clearance, but nearly messed up when closed down. Rating: 5.

 

Henderson - despite being out of position, Henderson had a good game, getting forward well and dealing with Leicester's attempts to exploit his unfamiliarity with the position really well. He did struggle at times to get back and was not afforded the protection needed by the midfield. Rating: 6.

 

Matip - back to the usual hopeless Matip of previous seasons. Looks fine striding forward, then gets carried away and gives the ball away. Defensively he is weak, slow, uncommitted and all over the place positionally. Rating: 3.5.

 

van Dijk - not at his best at all. Struggled, maybe due to being ill, but it was a less than convincing performance. Was caught ball watching on their goal. Rating: 4.

 

Robertson - was having a good game, then made a dreadful, needless error to give away the free kick they scored from. After that he was chasing his tail trying to make up for his mistake and ended up overdoing everything. He was in need of someone calming him down and telling him to relax and just get back to what he was doing before the mistake. Rating: 3.

 

Wijnaldum - at times he was magnificent, but he did get caught out a number of times when he should have been covering at the back and he passed up opportunities to shoot. It is so frustrating watching him, he always stops short of using his potential to the fullest extent. Rating: 6.

 

Keita - made some good runs, worked hard cutting off their attacks and should have been given a penalty. However he was still well short of the level expected, but it seems to be coming together a little more each week. That was a match in which he made a clear positive impact, that, with a less inept referee, could have been a match winning one. Rating: 6.

 

Shaqiri - not a good game, struggled to get on the ball and struggled even more to make anything happen when he did get it. Offered no help defensively at all. Worrying how much his workrate has dropped since his first few appearances. Rating: 4.

 

Mane - he scored a goal and had a few moments, plus he always does a good job of covering his full back, but he did struggle to make things happen at times. The surface was not suited to his style of play to be fair. When he did get his chance to run in behind, he was taken out by Maguire, so he never got the chance to make it happen. Rating: 6.

 

Salah - it just did not quite come off for Salah. He was making his runs but they had so many bodies in the way it was not working. The service to him was lacking as well, a few times he was given balls to contest in the air up against a big lump in Maguire, which gave him no chance. It did not help that when he did look like breaking free Maguire was able to forearm him and get away with it. Rating: 5.5.

 

Firmino - another one who just found most of his work not quite coming off. It was not really a pitch conducive to his little tricks, which did not help, but he was really struggling to get himself into the game. Rating: 5.5.

 

Subs:

Lallana - replaced Keita in the 66th minute. Makes runs and chases around but he is well short of his best and nothing seems to happen for him. It does not help that he wants too much time on the ball and was unable to get it. Rating: 5.

Fabinho - came on in place of Shaqiri in the 67th minute. Fabinho is really beginning to look like a key part of the team. The ball always seems to go to where he is on the pitch. Unlike Lallana, who makes it look hard work, it seems almost effortless to Fabinho to just be in the right place before the ball gets there, rather than chasing after it. Rating: 6.

Sturridge - brought on in the 82nd minute to replace Firmino. Woeful again. His presence is becoming more of a hindrance than a help to the team. It is like he is in slow motion right now, everything takes too long. Rating: 2.

 

Just to explain my ratings. I have gone for what I believe is more simple than the usual of totting up points. I have decided to go with 5 as having no effect on the game other than being a body on the pitch. Anything below 5 is a player who had a negative effect on his team and anything above 5 as a positive effect. So a goal scored would be a positive effect and add to the rating, whereas giving away a penalty with a needless challenge would take away from it.

Written by Tris Burke February 01 2019 10:57:30

 

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