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Iskaral Pust

Football: the winter break

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We really need Mane to step up too, his one shot off the post aside, his game so far has been all poor touches and dithering on the ball.

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Poor from Lovren, he had no idea where Aguero was for the goal.

I still cannot get over how the goalmouth scramble stayed out. No idea what Ederson was thinking in blocking the clearance, but heroic from Stones to het back and find the tiniest gap between Salah’s legs to get it away.

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1 minute ago, Philokles said:

Poor from Lovren, he had no idea where Aguero was for the goal.

I still cannot get over how the goalmouth scramble stayed out. No idea what Ederson was thinking in blocking the clearance, but heroic from Stones to het back and find the tiniest gap between Salah’s legs to get it away.

I thought of it the other way. Ederson will catch that ball, if Stones just keeps his leg away. 

However, having played both defense and keeper, and once almost breaking my own keeper's nose whilst clearing a ball (I saw him in my peripheral vision, but was far too committed), I know how difficult it is to break off.

Was impressed at how much Ederson managed to pull back, really.

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Btw, Kompany lucky in the first half to get a yellow ("big match tackle"), Robertson lucky there. No attempt to play the ball, simply holding Sterling. 

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Just me who thinks putting Otamendi on is more putting the victory at risk than defending it?

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Oh well. City played with greater intensity and were probably worth their win.

I think the biggest problem was Klopp's team selection. That midfield three just doesn't offer enough going forward. Milner seems to be getting worse and worse as the season goes on.

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13 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

So the orbituaries concerning City's chances to win the league were a bit premature afterall?

No one with a brain would’ve written them off. Lovren had a really poor game. Gomez can’t come back soon enough. 

1 minute ago, Soylent Brown said:

 think the biggest problem was Klopp's team selection. That midfield three just doesn't offer enough going forward. Milner seems to be getting worse and worse as the season goes on.

Agreed the 4-2-3-1 had been working so well. Ah well. 

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Entertaining game albeit a bit nervy from both teams at times due to the stakes. City did carve out the better chances and so deserved to edge it. At least it looks like we are in for a proper title race now - haven't had one since the 2013/2014 season. 

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Disappointing outcome.  City were sharper overall and we were sloppy for too much of the game.  Both their goals came while we were in control, both from the weak side of our defense.  We had a couple of chances cleared off the line by Stones.  Fine margins at this level. 

Klopp got it wrong with the starting MF.  I understand his thinking but what we saw from that MF in the CL this year was more indicative than anything they did last year. 

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1 minute ago, Mark Antony said:

Agreed the 4-2-3-1 had been working so well. Ah well. 

The 4-2-3-1 has largely been a response to us dominating possession against a lot of teams. The team today was clearly picked with playing on the counter in mind, it didn't work but if that chance in the first half had gone in it may well have done. :dunno:

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I just think Fabinho offers more than any of the three that started today. If it takes using a 4-2-3-1 to fit him in then I think it’s the better option. But yeah still it’s harsh to blame the loss on Klopp’s set up. The game was very close and a couple of moments swung it 

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There's another good game going on between Villarreal and Real Madrid. 2-2 now. Santi Cazorla with two goals - great to see him back playing. 

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Liverpool just need to sort out a Keita - Oxlade - Fabinho midfield. They have one of the best CB in Europe, one of the best fullback pair & GK in the league, and one the deeper attack in the league. Add that to a creative, dynamic midfield three and no one will be able to stop them.

(I actually hope it will never happen, of course. :] )

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Posted (edited)

Some slightly more measured thoughts on yesterday's game.

On the midfield thinking about it we do generally look better in possession with Fabinho playing, and with the benefit of hindsight it probably would have been better to start him ahead of Milner coming back from injury, but I think they largely did what they were asked to do. It might not be the most exciting but we were never going to outplay City in possession in midfield, they mostly shut down the two Silva's in the final third and didn't allow them to dictate the game. The problem was the pressing never really got home to create many countering opportunities and I think you have to mostly give City credit for that.

Leaving aside Fabinho though what we could really do with is Keita hitting his stride. He was supposed to be the one who'd fit straight into Klopp's style of play and really kick things up a notch both in terms of pressing and transition into attack.

Defensively Lovren's been decent enough recently but this was a game we could really have done with Gomez playing in. You couldn't necessarily say Gomez would have reacted better to the situation for the first goal but I think in general his pace would have helped deal with Sane and it was noticeable against both City and Arsenal that they were pressing in a manner designed to put Lovren on the ball under pressure, Gomez is clear step up on that front.

ETA: On that note apparently Clyne's going on loan to Bournemouth until the end of the season. Er, I'm not really a fan of that. I assume the logic is Gomez is back soon and he's capable of covering right back if needed (Milner and Fabinho could too I suppose) but I'd really rather just have a good actual right back in Clyne as back up and let those players concentrate on playing their own positions.  

 

Edited by ljkeane

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I’m sorry but loaning Clyne out when fighting for a title seems dumb. I prefer him over Milner as backup rb and I’m not a fan of forcing Gomez to that position when he’s been clearly our 2nd best CB when fit. People have been saying “oh Fabinho can play RB in emergencies” that’s the last thing I want to see happen. Fabinho needs to be the first name on the team sheet in the midfield. 

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I’m also concerned about Clyne departing.  Klopp did this last year with Sturridge, which meant we had no viable replacement for Salah in the CL final. 

Klopp never wants to stop someone who thinks they need to leave, but sometimes you have to put the club ahead of the individual. 

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