Nov 242014
Scouting Liverpool 2014/15: Opposition Point of View

Introduction In this report I have looked at the matches of Liverpool Football Club in the Barclays Premier League. I have broken down the team looking at the way they play in each phase during the matches. There are many interpretations of phases of play, however I will give pre-set definitions of the terms for when I use them to analyse the club. Following this, I shall then look at Liverpool from the opposition’s point of view looking at their organisation and structure when attacking and defending. Finally I will look at set piece tactics and comment on any other continue reading

Nov 232014
Crystal Palace 3, Liverpool 1 - LFC Player Ratings & Tactics

Crystal Palace 3, Liverpool 1 Selhurst Park, London (24,862) Liverpool scorer: Lambert (2′) Crystal Palace scorers: Gayle (17′), Ledley (78′), Jedinak (81′) Starting Tactics   Player Ratings Simon Mignolet – 6 Made a couple of good saves, but still looks uncertain at times. Palace targeted him by placing two players in front of him at set pieces. Javier Manquillo – 6.5 Coped well against Yannick Bolasie despite have little support when Crystal Palace were on the counter attack. Martin Skrtel – 4.5 We know what to expect from Skrtel now, and he’s not good when exposed one on one. Was asleep for the continue reading

Nov 082014
Liverpool 1, Chelsea 2 - LFC Player Ratings & Tactics

Liverpool 1, Chelsea 2 Anfield, Liverpool (44,698) Liverpool scorer: Can 9′ Chelsea scorers: Cahill 14′, Costa 67′ Brendan Rodgers reverted the his so-called best XI despite the impressive defensive performances against Real Madrid in midweek. The only players to keep their place from that team were Simon Mignolet, Emre Can, and Alberto Moreno. Tactics The team started out playing in a 4-1-4-1 shape not dissimilar to that which we saw v Madrid, but the defensive line was higher, and the wide players more advanced. Philippe Coutinho would drift in from his position wide on the right when the team had the continue reading

Nov 042014
Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 0 - LFC Player Ratings & Tactics

Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 0 Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid (79,283) Real Madrid scorers: Benzema (27′) Amidst accusations that this was some sort of “weak” XI, the Liveprool team which took to the field showed more more fight than the one which faced Real back at Anfield. A solid structure, proper defensive leadership from Kolo Touré, and a midfield who at least attempted to protect the back four. A striker who ran and ran up front, a midfielder who covered more of the pitch than the groundsman, and a goalkeeper who seemed to be revelling in the onslaught he faced. Liverpool may continue reading

Nov 012014
Newcastle 1, Liverpool 0 - LFC Player Ratings & Tactics

Newcastle 1, Liverpool 0 St James’ Park, Newcastle (52,166) Newcastle scorer: Perez (73′) Vote for Man of the Match Player Ratings Simon Mignolet – 6 Flapped at a cross in the first half but looked more comfortable as the game progressed. Made a good save with his feet one-on-one from Cabella. Glen Johnson – 4.5 Poor in and out of possession. Asked to play slightly deeper in defence but was still beaten regularly. Makes poor choices with the ball at his feet, and often loses it. Martin Skrtel – 6 Won a number of headers and looks more comfortable on the continue reading

Oct 292014
Liverpool 2, Swansea City 1 - LFC Player Ratings & Tactics

Liverpool 2, Swansea City 1 Anfield, Liverpool (42,582) Liverpool scorers: Balotelli (86′), Lovren (90′+5) Swansea City scorer: Emnes (65′) Player Ratings Brad Jones – 6.5 Was in good positions to make some routine saves, and handled well from an awkward Shelvey free kick. Was good off his line and sweeping up, but critics might say Mignolet, with his bigger one-on-one presence, would have saved Emnes’s shot for the Swansea goal. Javier Manquillo – 7.5 Held his own against the tricky Jefferson Montero, and could claim to have won the battle. Plenty of other full-backs have, and will, struggle against the Ecuadorian. Was asked continue reading

Oct 252014
Liverpool 0, Hull City 0 - LFC Tactics & Player Ratings

Liverpool 0, Hull City 0 Anfield, Liverpool (44,591) Man of the Match Vote Tactics Mario Balotelli continued as the lone striker, with Joe Allen and Emre Can making up the midfield pair ahead of Steven Gerrard. Hull allowed Gerrard more space to get forward, especially later on in the game. Lallana and Sterling struggled for space out wide, leaving Balotelli isolated up front. The only penetration came from the runs of Can in midfield, and the overlapping full-backs.  Starting XI The substitutions on 61 minutes saw Mario Balotelli move to the left, with Rickie Lambert becoming the focal point up top. continue reading

Oct 252014
Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 3 - LFC Tactics & Player Ratings

Liverpool 0, real Madrid 3 Anfield, Liverpool (43,521) Real Madrid scorers: C. Ronaldo (23′) (Benzema 30′, 41′) Liverpool needed a point to get ahead in Group B’s fight for second – a fight which will inevitably ensue in what is, above all else, an easy group for the defending champions Real Madrid. The only problem for Real has been balancing these midweek games with a mind on their preparation for more important games in the league the following weekend, and Liverpool offered no more than a training session with El Clásico just around the corner. Realists amongst the Liverpool support would continue reading

Oct 172014
QPR 2, Liverpool 3 - Liverpool Tactics & Player Ratings

Queens Park Rangers 2, Liverpool 3 Loftus Road, London (18,069) Liverpool scorers: Dunne 67′ OG), Coutinho (90′), Caulker (90’+5 OG) QPR scorers: Gerrard (90;+2 OG) (Vargas 87′)  Player Ratings Simon Mignolet – 5.5 Made a good save early on, coming off his line quickly to smother a Charlie Austin attempt. His next involvement was a glaring error – coming off his line and getting nowhere near a hanging ball which QPR somehow managed not to score from. Was better in the second half and made a couple of good saves. Glen Johnson – 5.5 Too slow in possession and not continue reading

Oct 042014
Liverpool 2, West Brom 1 - LFC Tactics & Ratings

Liverpool 2, West Bromwich Albion 1 Anfield, Liverpool (44,708) Liverpool scorers: Lallana (45′), Henderson (61′) West Brom scorer: Berahino (pen 56′) Tactics Liverpool played a 4-3-3 shape with a 1-2 set-up in midfield. Steven Gerrard was the deep lying player in the midfield two, with Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho ahead of him. Late in the second half Gerrard was pushed forward into an attacking midfield position as Lucas entered the fray to form a deeper lying two with Henderson, with the shape becoming 4-2-3-1. Liverpool formation – last 15 minutes Player Ratings Simon Mignolet – 6 Better than in recent weeks. continue reading