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Reds Column I

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Liverpool vs Sheffield United

After going down 0-1, Liverpool Fc (The Reds) came from behind and scored twice to beat the visitors Sheffield United 2-1 Fc. The result meant that the home side are now Second Place in the Premier League behind the Table-Toppers Everton Fc.

Having suffered misfortunes with untimely injuries to key players, Alisson Becker’s speedy recovery greatly helped the Reds cause. The Brazilian Goalkeeper recovered from his shoulder injury and was named in the Starting XI.

Against a team that resolutely defended in numbers, the Reds started the match employing the 4-2-3-1 Formation with Mohamed Salah up in front of the attack and Roberto Firmino right behind the Egyptian with Sadio Mané and Diogo Jota operating on the flanks.

To unlock a tight Blades Defence, barrage of Long Balls around the defence of Sheffield United Fc (The Blades) was utilised as the Reds looked to impose on the Visitors.

However, VAR was called upon early in the game. In the 10th minute Fabinho was adjudged to have a tripped Oli McBurnie and the penalty was awarded following the VAR review.

This time again, the VAR decision went against the Reds. Sander Berge converted the resulting Penalty sending Alisson to the wrong direction and gave the Visitors the opening goal.

Clearly stunned by that Penalty, the Reds midfield in particular momentarily switched OFF and Joe Gomez got beaten repeatedly. Things could have got from bad to worse for the Reds but Alisson came to the rescue. The Brazilian produced a stunning save to deny Ben Osborn in the 22nd minute.

The Blades had their reasons to feel aggrieved as several Penalty Calls were waived away during the First Half. One notable incident was when Diogo Jota seemed to have clipped Sander Berge inside the Penalty Box during the First Half.

The Reds finally equalised in the 41st minute. Mané headed the ball from a brilliant cross from Jordan Henderson, but Aaron Ramsdale parried the ball. Roberto Firmino then had the simplest task to just tap in the rebound.

The Defending English Champions headed into the Second Half with score levelled at 1-1.

Joe Gomez looked more composed after the Second Half as the Blades looked to give a torrid time for the Reds defence by targeting Joe Gomez.

In the 61st minute, a superb cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold was neatly converted by Salah but the goal got chalked off after another VAR Review.

Still, it did not take too long for the Reds to get the lead as in the 64th minute, Jota nodded the ball into the top right corner of the net after Mané’s swung in a brilliant left foot cross.

Alisson again came to the rescue to deny the Blades as the Brazilian palmed away Sander Berge’s header.

Salah could have sealed the match for the Reds in the 81st minute but the ball hit the right post after the Egyptian smartly moved past his marker.

The Reds then hung on to seal a hard fought 2-1 home win over the Blades.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-2-3-1 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson – 8: Could do nothing about the Penalty Shot but the Brazilian made crucial saves to deny the Blades. His presence brought back the sense of calmness to the side.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7: Much better performance. Lively going forward and supplied with several crosses. The young Englishman defended astutely as well.

Fabinho – 8: The Brazilian was again called upon as a Makeshift Defender and defended very well. Harsh penalty call given against him in the First Half.

Joe Gomez – 7: Looked troubled early in the first half as the Visitors looked to target him and the youngster became more composed after the second half.

Andrew Robertson – 7: Pressed well and got the Reds on the move. Defended well but the Scot should consider himself a tad fortunate not to concede a Penalty after the ball got struck on his hand during the First Half.

Midfield:

Jordan Henderson – 8: Led by example and always looked to get the Reds on the front foot. The Captain provided the brilliant cross that eventually led to the equaliser from Firmino.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: The Dutchman shielded the defence well and passed the ball with intent.

Forwards:

Roberto Firmino – 7: Finally scored and ended his Mini-Drought. The Brazilian played behind Salah and supplied the Reds attack brilliantly.

Sadio Mané – 7: Marauding and dangerous as ever. The Senegalese was involved in both goals and provided a brilliant assist that gave the lead for the Reds.

Diogo Jota – 7: The young Portuguese scored the game’s winning goal. Linked well with Salah and picked up pockets of spaces to help the Home side to unlock the Visitor’s defence.

Mohamed Salah – 7: Played up front with Firmino behind. The Egyptian played the near perfect ploy as the Reds utilised 4-2-3-1 Formation to make themselves more unpredicatable. Could have a scored a goal but got denied by the woodwork.

Substitutes:

James Milner – N/A: Replaced Diogo Jota to close out the game in the 83rd minute.

Takumi Minamino – N/A: The Japanese International replaced Roberto Firmino in the 83rd minute to freshen up the attack and give sufficient rest for the tiring Brazilian.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 7: By employing 4-2-3-1 Tactics instead of their usual 4-3-3 Formation, the Reds under Klopp are becoming an unpredictable side. Thiago Alcantara added more aura to the Reds’ unpredictableness and his return from injury will be a huge boost for the team.

Like Alisson, the Reds will hope that Thiago will also quickly recover and hopefully be fit in time to play at home against Fc Midtjylland in the Champions League Group D Match on 27 October 2020 (8 pm (BST)).

 

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