Well, where to start with, the debacle against Manchester City or the big game coming up against Sevilla. We will look at both the games and come to a point as to why Liverpool need a turnaround vs their Spanish opponents at Anfield. From the heights of Arsenal performance to a new-low at the Etihad, Liverpool’s football has taken a 360-degree turn in space of two weeks. Now, it’s time for Klopp’s men to get back to ground zero with a good performance on Wednesday.
Defence and Midfield capitulated on Saturday: –
Sadio Mane recieved a red card (correctly or not won’t be the debate here) and Liverpool surrendered at the Etihad. Some, including Klopp said the Reds shouldn’t lose much confidence from this performance. But, if we look at the defensive and midfield capitulation against a very good attacking side, it has to be said that something is not right. The combination of Klavan and Matip never worked throughout the 90 minutes.
The midfield should take equal blame for that debacle too. Likes of Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum looked very weak against an aggressive City midfield. Henderson’s passing was poor, Wijnaldum was invisible throughout the first half and Can’s position changes never helped him to perform better. With 10 men, they looked all over the place and it seems 5-0 could have been 8 or 9.
The spaces provided by them should have been cut off despite being 10-men. It is difficult to get the shape right when you are a man down but certainly not impossible to at least shut up shop and defend. We all know Klopp’s game is all about pressing the build up of the opposition and trying to create turnovers close to their goal. So, once Mane was dismissed, the indication was clear that this defence has to perform or it can go very ugly.
Need to beat Sevilla: –
Now, Sevilla are in town and Liverpool fans have plenty of grudges against this team. Remember the Europa League 2016 final and recall every thing. It is probably the best time for the Reds to perform better and forget the past, both of Manchester City and Europa final.
For that to happen, Klopp needs to get his tactics right. The defence has to function as a unit and midfield has to provide enough shield so that they don’t get opened up too easily. The front three has to deliver with the pressing and providing pace on the counter-attack.
It is still unknown whether Sevilla would play their natural game of football playing or sit back. If Berizzo’s men opt to play out of midfield, they can be in trouble of falling into the trap. It would be advisable by many that the Spanish side sit deep in numbers and look to hit their opponents on the counter attack. We all know how culpable Liverpool are in one on one defending.
Probably too early to say that this is a must-win for the Reds but to forget the past, they have to win on Wednesday. Another dull or uncertain performance will only heap the pressure on Klopp. Liverpool are a big club where expectancy is to win every game, so one loss does create a little negative feeling. A positive show in a European night might also help for the future games coming thick and fast.