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Reds Column V

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Sheffield United vs Liverpool

Liverpool Fc got back in the race for Top-four finish after defeating the hosts Sheffield United Fc 0-2 in the Premier League.

Following the tragic death of his Father earlier in the week; Alisson Becker was absent and so Adrián took over the Goalkeeping duties.

Also in place of the injured Jordan Henderson, Nathaniel Phillips was named in the Starting XI for Liverpool Fc (The Reds).

The Englishman was lined-up alongside Ozan Kabak for the Reds encounter with the hosts Sheffield United Fc (The Blades).

After recovering from his injury, James Milner was named among the substitutes along with the Reds Academy Goalkeepers Jakub Ojrzyński and Liam Hughes.

Naby Keïta was also among the substitutes but due to an unspecified illness, Diogo Jota did not make the Matchday squad.

Fabinho was deemed unfit to play for this game and perhaps, the versatile Brazilian most likely might be considered for the upcoming Premier League home clash with Chelsea Fc.

The Blades (as every Defensive mined side) looked to defend deep in numbers and score Goals through counter attacks or set piece situations.

Just in the 5th minute Adrián stopped the header from David McGoldrick after an assist from Oliver Norwood with a cross.

Rather than keep things simple and in a futile attempt, the Reds continued to play speculative long balls in attempts to break down the opposition.

Yet unlike the last Merseyside derby loss to the visitors Everton Fc, the Reds did not concede an early Goal.

Roberto Firmino had his shot saved by Aaron Ramsdale following an assist from Sadio Mané in the 10th minute.

The Brazilian however should have done better with that attempt but it’s makes no difference, as the Brazilian simply is out of form.

Adrián produced another save as the Spaniard denied David McGoldrick’s shot from outside the box after being assisted by Oliver McBurnie in the 17th minute.

Curtis Jones was denied by Ramsdale in the 22nd minute following an assist from Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross.

With both sides unable to break the deadlock, the First Half ended at 0-0.

After the Second Half began, the Reds broke the deadlock through Curtis Jones as the youngster rifled his shot to the bottom left corner of the net before Alexander-Arnold got the cross in before the ball crossed over the line for a Goal Kick and the Goal stood after a VAR check.

Curtis Jones was again in the thick of the action as the youngster headed the ball but was easily saved by Ramsdale following an assist from Alexander-Arnold in the 52nd minute.

The home side had a chance to level the scoreline in the 58th minute but Oliver McBurnie missed his header to the right side of the net after an assist from Oliver Norwood with a cross.

Firmino made it 0-2 for the Reds as the Brazilian played a one-two with Mané before showing clever feet in the box and struck shot but the ball got deflected off Kean Bryan in to the bottom right corner of the net.

It was a lucky Goal but the Brazilian simply won’t care yet hopefully this Goal also reignites his form and confidence.

James Milner was brought on to replace Thiago in the 76th minute to provide more solidity in the Midfield.

Salah came very close to make it 0-3 for the Reds but his shot missed to the right side of the net following an assist from Andrew Robertson in the 80th minute.

And shortly afterward, Curtis Jones was replaced by Naby Keïta.

The Reds held their nerves and went on to win seal a 0-2 over the hosts Blades.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Adrián – 7: Took over the Goalie duties from Alisson. The Spaniard looked composed and produced fine saves especially during the First Half.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7: His unrelenting effort to get the cross in resulting in the opening Goal for the Reds. Overall, the young Englishman defended well and looked threatening going forward especially with one of his effort been blocked during the Second Half.

Nathaniel Phillips – 6: Looked troubled by McGoldrick and Oliver McBurnie but stood his ground to defend resolutely.

Ozan Kabak – 6: Had a slight mishap in communication with Adrián but fortunately the own Goal was ruled out as Offside during the First Half. Still, the youngster defended well and got the job done.

Andrew Robertson – 7: The Scot defended well and looked threatening going forward but his efforts on Goal were not clinical.

Midfield:

Curtis Jones – 8: Scored the opening Goal and constantly looked to drive the Team forward. Few times gave away the ball but regardless, played well. Marked improvement compared to the games the youngster played earlier.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: In the absence of Captain Jordan Henderson, the Dutchman skippered the side and shielded the Team whenever possible.

Thiago Alcântara – 6: The Spaniard slowly got into his groove with range of passes but his First Half performance was not quiet up to his standards.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 6: The Senegalese International linked up well with Salah and especially with Firmino. Set up the Second Goal for the Reds and could have a got a Penalty had he decided to fall down from the challenge from Ethan Ampadu.

Roberto Firmino – 7: Missed a good opportunity to score in the First Half but his effort led to the second Goal for the Reds.

Mohamed Salah – 6: Looked threatening but unfortunate to miss a perfect opportunity to score during the Second Half.

Substitutes:

James Milner – N/A: Came on to replace Thiago to shield the defence and protect the lead.

Naby Keïta – N/A: Replaced Curtis Jones and kept the Team on the front foot.

 

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 7: Coming back from a painful defeat to the visitors Everton Fc, the win over the hosts Blades surely will be a confidence booster for the Reds.

The German Coach continued to persist with Curtis Jones and without making many changes to the line-up.

But, sterner tests await the Reds as they are next due to host the visitors Chelsea Fc in the Premier League.

The Big Guns needs to be utilised rather than take unnecessary risks.

 

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