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Reds Column III

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Leicester City vs Liverpool

Liverpool Fc suffered another heavy defeat as the reigning English Champions were beaten by the hosts Leicester City Fc 3-1 in the Premier League.

Prior to the Match; Fabinho was sidelined due to an unspecified minor muscle issue and Divock Origi was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

Newcomer Ben Davis was also ruled out as the Englishman suffered a minor knock in the training and was not fit enough to travel with the Liverpool Fc (The Reds) squad.

Jürgen Klopp had to shuffle his Backline due to the latest injury setback to the Versatile Midfielder Fabinho and in place of the injured Brazilian; Ozan Kabak made his Reds debut.

The young Turkish International was lined-up alongside Jordan Henderson at the heart of the defence with Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold operating as Full Backs.

The rest of the Team that lost to the visitors and League Leaders Manchester City Fc were retained except Thiago Alcântara.

The Spaniard was named among the substitutes and James Milner replaced the Spaniard.

Knowing that they will be having less possession, the Game Plan of the Foxes was to release their main man Jamie Vardy quickly as soon as they get the ball and pass the ball to him.

Reminiscent to Virgil Van Dijk, the Game Plan of the Reds was to exploit the weakness of the home side by launching diagonal balls over the top particularly from the Centre Backs.

One of the problems that the Reds faced this Season was that they looked promising going forward but did not choose the right ball in the final third.

Perhaps it could be the lack of confidence and in this game especially they needed to trust their instincts.

James Milner sustained an hamstring injury very early in the game and was replaced by Thiago in the 17th minute.

Curtis Jones was shown the Yellow Card for making 2 fouls to deny the Counter Attacks from the Foxes in the 24th minute.

In the 28th minute, Firmino had his shot denied by the Foxes following an assist from Jordan Henderson.

Alisson Becker again produced a magnificent save to deny Vardy in the 45th minute but there were enough warning signs for the Reds.

The Reds Defence got breached several times during First Half but fortunately for both sides, the First Half ended at 0-0.

After Salah won the Free Kick, Alexander-Arnold came close to breaking the deadlock but his shot from the resulting Free Kick hit the bar in the 57th minute.

The Foxes looked to press a lot of higher making them more of a threat on the break.

In the 67th minute, Firmino provided a briliant back heel pass to Salah and the Egyptian then curled the ball in to the top left corner of the net to make 0-1 for the Reds.

Kabak picked up a Yellow Card for his challenge on Harvey Barnes moments after a poor headed pass from Curtis Jones in the 70th minute.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Curtis Jones in the 75th minute.

A poor tackle from Thiago on Harvey Barnes just inches outside the Penalty Box was finally capitalised by the Foxes in the 76th minute.

James Maddison then scored from the resulting Free Kick to level the scoreline and the Goal stood after another lengthy VAR Check.

A comical mix up between Kabak and Alisson led to their collision in the 79th minute.

Vardy then had the easiest chance to score and the Englishman gleefully tapped in the ball in to the empty net to make it 2-1 for the hosts.

In the 85th minute, Harvey Barnes made it 3-1 after neatly placing the ball in to the bottom right corner of the net following an assist from Wilfred Ndidi.

With another game gone out of the Reds hands, Xherdan Shaqiri was brought on to replace Wijnaldum in the 87th minute.

The Foxes went to on seal the game 3-1 and Rodgers picked up his first win over his former Club (after being sacked by FSG) and Klopp, after getting sacked by the Reds in October 2015.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 4: After the nightmare performances during Manchester City Fc Home Clash, the Brazilian started well and made fine saves but another moment of madness led to the Second Goal for the Foxes. It is easy to criticise the Brazilian but he has no experienced Defenders to shield him.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6: Made several recoveries and looked threatening going forward. Rattled the crossbar from his Free Kick during the Second Half.

Ozan Kabak – 5: Started poorly as the young Turkish International could not deal with the pace of Vardy. His collision with Alisson resulted in the Second Goal for the Foxes.

Jordan Henderson – 6: The Captain again started as a Makeshift Defender. Looked more composed and provided several Diagonal Passes but his defensive partners let him down.

Andrew Robertson – 5: Defended fairly well but offered very little going forward.

Midfield:

Curtis Jones – 3: Created no chances, gave away possession on numerous occasions and never looked comfortable in the game. His insipid performances just continued. What on Earth was Klopp thinking naming the youngster again in the Starting XI!

Georginio Wijnaldum – 6: Started well and shielded the defence well but jaded after the Second Half.

James Milner – N/A: Replaced after just the 17th minute due to an unspecified injury.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 5: Few shots but never really troubled the Foxes Defenders and his passes were wayward.

Roberto Firmino – 7: The best among the Front 3. Linked up well and created the back heel pass that resulted in the opening Goal for the Reds.

Mohamed Salah – 6: Scored the only Goal for the Reds. The Egyptian was wasteful before scoring especially the diagonal pass from Henderson during the First Half.

Substitutes:

Thiago Alcântara – 5: The skill and the talent of the Spaniard are undeniable but his defensive aspects of the game is turning out to be a liability for the Reds. Conceded the Free Kick that led to the equaliser. Passed the ball around beautifully (in General) but that’s about it! Perhaps Thiago can be better utilised more as a creative outlet enabling him to roam forward with Henderson and a fit again Fabinho operating as deep lying Midfielders.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A: Was brought on to replace Curtis Jones but Klopp should have done so much earlier or instead brought on Shaqiri.

Xherdan Shaqiri – N/A: Insufficient time to make any impact.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 3: To unsettle the Foxes particularly, the German Tactician could have utilised a different tactical approach like utilising the 4-2-3-1 Formation rather the predictable 4-3-3.

As if getting hammered by the visitors Manchester City Fc was not bad enough, but to persist with Curtis Jones in the Starting XI was once again baffling.

With better Midfield Options in the bench, Klopp opted again for the youngster. Hope the decision to loan Minamino instead of offloading Origi would not backfire.

The Supporters especially Fenway Sports Group (FSG) should fully back Klopp despite some of his tactical shortcomings.

Untimely injuries especially to Key Players (like Virgil Van Dijk) caused a lot of problems for the Reds during the Season.

However; the Reds of the last Season that looked fearsome and daunting for the Opponents has long gone this Season.

Now, every Team feels confident of beating the Reds.

 

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