Discussion in 'The Football Forum' started by rurikbird, Nov 5, 2019.
Not pretty but job done and top of the group
Could afford to rest 3-4 key players too, all well and good.
Beat Napoli in the next game and we top the group regardless of the final game.
Means he can rest key players- rather than our normal approach of cutting it fine.
Finishing top will make the next round a lot easier, potentially..
I thought Keita was pretty good. Some stats to back up the visual impression:
We conquered Genk, although we were Gank! ONward!
Yes beating Napoli next week means we can essentially give our big players a full weeks rest.
Great to see Ox continue his goal scoring run
The usual suspects, Virgil, Salah, Alisson and Fabinho were all excellent.
Keita and Ox were very good.
But, the one player I thought stood out derensively was TAA. He’s been getting a lot of stick lately, but I thought he was very impressive. Several last ditch tackles to bail Gomez out, and clever interceptions.
Gomez was a bit all over the place, but he needs regular playing time.
Btw, Klopp was very complimentary towards Berge, and said he was a very interesting player.
They had a chat after the game.
He's definitely playing within himself to build confidence. He's so talented that he was still creative and was a part of both goals (run and pass to initiate the attack, overlaps Chamberlain giving him the decoy he needed). But we do hope to see even more from him and he was frustratingly light on the ball a couple times.
This is a midfield I hope to see often as it really frees Wijnaldum up to attack and makes us very difficult to press against with all the the midfielders being having superb ball control and technique.
I thought Keita was good yesterday, especially early on - he probably faded second half. But I doubted my thoughts as cleverer people than me were saying he was shite in the match thread
Yeah he played quite well and was positive with his running from deep, same with Ox. We need to find the right balance in midfield though, we got cut through or bypassed too easily again.
Ox up front is definitely a great option to have moving forward though, he'd be the ideal player to step in for Salah or Mane. Matchwinner
I enjoyed Salahs performance yesterday, not his best obvs, but he was trying, and pulling off, lots of cute little flicks and tricks. I like Salah when he's like that, when he's confident, he's deadly, just what I want to see going into the City game.
Yeah I agree. He kept the ball well and stuck to keeping ti simple throughout first half. As you say he faded a little second half, but this should do him good. They actually highlighted his involvement first half during the halftime talk in the Norwegian TV studio.
He was lively, and he doesn't stop even if his finishing went all directions. It is easy to get frustrated when you stop hitting the net, but he keeps on trying so hopefully he find the net in the City game. What did worry me was that he couldn't set up Mane on a couple of occasions. Hopefully he will not drop his head and stop setting up others when trying to find the net himself.
Let's have some fucking RAAAAAAAATTTTIIIINNNNNGS?! Shall we?
Genk aren't very good, so three points at Anfield after battering them away, is the least we could expect. And we duly got it. It wasn't exactly a marvellous display, and we conceded - as usual - but we won and are top of the Group. Aces.
Alisson (6) Made a decent save to stop an equaliser, and dealt with most things. Had zero chance with the goal. Absolute bullet header.
TAA (7) Keeping up his recent fine form with another quality display. Put in some tasty challenges, gave little away, and was his usual Rolls-Royce self in his passing and crossing. One second-half pass was positively swoonsome.
Gomez (6) Still a few signs that he hasn't played much, but that silky acceleration was working just fine. Getting better, but needs more games.
Virgil (7) More like the usual dominance we have come to know and love from the red titan.
Milner (7) He's not as pacy and explosive as Robbo, but he is effective in a different way. Solid defensively (one stupid pass notwithstanding) and created chances going forward, too. He's as reassuring as a favourite snuggly blanky and a cup of tea.
Fabinho (6) Seemed to take ages to boot up and start working properly, but once he was going, Fabinho.exe worked as smoothly as usual, even if he has much more to give if required.
Wijnaldum (6) Extra point for the goal, and some nice ball retention and simple passing, but I think he still needs to do more, as he has been slipping into anonymity far too often this season.
Keita (5) Noddy zipped about in that tippy-tappy style of his, and was on the ball a fair amount, but apart from one good run and one clever pass, everything was just so, so safe; short 5-yard passes and not enough drive and creativity. He almost totally disappeared in the second half, and did his usual trick of standing around in the inside-right position and hoping Fabinho was near enough to pass to.
Chamberlain (7) Better again. Still makes the odd utterly braindead decision, but he certainly improved as the game went on, and showed some good positive, aggressive attacking football. Scored a fine goal. How Genk must hate the sight of him.
Salah (5) Showed flashes of his quality and looked more threatening than he has recently, but still woefully lacking his usual finishing touch and wasted a few decent openings. Lovely bit of skill to give Chamberlain his chance, but he should be offering much more.
Origi (5) Another who showed glimpses of quality, but just couldn't link it all together properly. Dragged one shot horribly wide.
It seems a lot of his work is underrated (see Brendan's 5/10 rating) ditto his technical skill on the ball. Nice passing skills again yesterday (that, no Brendan, weren't all 5m sideways). He doesn't seem to have a real 'highlight reel' yet though and I do expect (hope/pray) that's to come. Defensively he did really well yesterday and only gave it away once, that created a need to defend.
Controlled the game.
Re Salah not passing (again!), presumably people have noticed that this happens way more when he's not scoring.
That's not a coincidence by any means, he desperately wants a goal, & he'll snatch at every half chance he can get to do so. If he gets it, then he'll most likely find his scoring boots again, so it's perhaps not the worst thing in the world.
Keita has the most pretty dribble on our team, that's for sure. He looks like he should be amazing. He's also better at carrying the ball than the rest of the midfield.
But our midfield three isn't structurally that expressive, and it has lots of defensive obligations to fuel how we play. Structurally it has to be disciplined, and it's clear that the primary purpose when we are on the ball is to circulate play, hold the ball, and crucially be ready to win the ball back and close space very quickly. More complicated interplay, especially centrally, is secondary. That's for the forwards. The trick, and no one has figured it out consistently yet, is to know when you can afford to have a bit more freedom and aggression. That is only going to happen with some consistency, so that the fullbacks particularly understand the midfielder on their side of the pitch. If both commit forward, we're one long ball away from conceding a chance.
That's in every one of our midfielders minds. Once we have some rhythm, they can do that more naturally, and figure out when to be a little looser. I hope we get there. I really hope Keita gets there. As enjoyable as it is to watch him run with a ball, I think Ox smashing them in is just a little bit better.
I'm far more annoyed by his shit passing, than his not passing or his desire to score. He misplaces more simple passes than anyone else on the team. Not threading the needle passes that might result in a goal, but a side footed 10 yard pass that keeps an attack going.
I'm definitely in the minority with Salah, and for some reason have never embraced him as a forward to the extent that I probably should have, but I think he's actually becoming a problem. He makes our team slightly lopsided, and it's only worthwhile if he's doing more in attack. When Suarez had off periods, he worked harder, but that's not in Salah's game. When Mane isn't on form, he helps his fullback. When Salah isn't on form, we finish less chances, AND give the opposition more.