Category Archives: FC Liverpool

All 20 Premier League clubs’ 2022-23 season summed up in just 10 games

“Did the Premier League season pass you by? Can you barely remember what took place before the World Cup? Are you a bit unsure of what happened with Bournemouth? It’s difficult to describe a 380-game campaign concisely. But here is an attempt: all 20 Premier League teams’ seasons summarised in 10 choice matches… ”
The Athletic – Michael Cox


Tales from the Anfield Road: Magical memories from Liverpool’s ‘other’ end

“It may lack the storied glamour of the Kop or the soaring splendour of the new Main Stand, but Liverpool’s Anfield Road end has a history and atmosphere all of its own. The bulldozers will move in after Saturday’s final home game of the season, replacing the current structure with a new stand that will lift Anfield’s capacity to 61,000 at a cost of £80million ($101million) in time for the start of next season. To mark the end of the stand in its current form, we asked those who have watched from or played in front of the ‘Annie Road End’ for their standout memories. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Fabinho: Liverpool’s new system is giving ‘the Lighthouse’ new foundations

“It was not too long ago that Fabinho’s Liverpool career looked like it was drifting towards an unhappy ending. The Brazilian has barely resembled a shadow of himself during parts of this season and, while being far from the only player struggling, his decline was significant and one of the roots of Liverpool’s collective problems. For years, Fabinho was able to patrol the centre of the pitch from touchline to touchline in front of his team’s defence. The lighthouse, the Dyson — pick your nickname and it explains his responsibilities in Liverpool’s 4-3-3 system. …”
The Athletic (Video)

The Premier League xG table: Evaluating the attacking performance of every club

“In case anyone needed reminding, scoring goals helps you win games of football. For those who like to dig a little deeper, it is interesting to see how often a team scores goals relative to the opportunities they create. Yes, your team might rocket a 40-yard strike into the top corner from time to time, but how sustainable is that method of attack across a season? That’s right, we’re talking about expected goals (xG). …”
The Athletic

Mohamed Salah has a secret skill for Liverpool which makes him truly special

“If there was a list detailing everything Mohamed Salah brings to Liverpool, it would be a very long one. His goals and remarkable consistency would of course be at the top and, with that, all the records that come his way. The assists he provides would be on there, too, along with his speed and ingenuity. …”
The Athletic

Liverpool fans and the national anthem: A history of hostility

“The message from the Kop could not have been clearer. ‘You can stick your coronation up your arse,’ came the cry from the most vocal section of Liverpool’s crowd during Wednesday’s home win over Fulham, an echo of the sentiment that had reverberated around Hampden Park in Glasgow a few days earlier courtesy of Celtic fans. It was the latest iteration of Anfield’s long-standing antipathy for the British establishment, and which manifests itself most obviously when Liverpool supporters routinely boo the playing of the country’s national anthem, God Save the King. …”
The Athletic (Video)
The Athletic: Liverpool fans and Jurgen Klopp: Is the love affair as strong as ever? (Video)
The Athletic: Why Liverpool want Jorg Schmadtke as their new sporting director
The Athletic: What would make managers improve behaviour towards officials? We asked some
The Athletic: Virgil van Dijk hails Alisson after Liverpool clean sheet century: ‘I’m very glad he’s my goalkeeper’

Do football managers matter?

“Managers can’t perform magic, although some people seem to think they can. They’re not David Copperfield or Harry Potter. They can’t work miracles or sprinkle some magical dust to make players know how to play football. Spending hours on analysis isn’t very useful. It doesn’t put you in better conditions to win the game. The tactics, the schemes, they’re all bull***t. Of course tactics matter, but players win the game. For 45 minutes at a time, players make their own decisions. Football is a continuous sport in which the coach has barely any influence, less than in any other sport. …”
The Athletic

Liverpool 4-3 Tottenham: A thriller that underlines why neither team are top four

Liverpool won a fourth successive Premier League match thanks to an incredible 94th-minute winner from Diogo Jota against Spurs at Anfield. Goals from Curtis Jones, Luis Diaz and a Mohamed Salah penalty put Jurgen Klopp’s team in a commanding position in the first 15 minutes, as Spurs found themselves all but beaten in the first third of a match for the second Sunday running. …”
The Athletic
The Athletic – Liverpool and Tottenham are at the crossroads: What can they learn from each other?

Liverpool’s midfield transfer targets: Analysing Mount, Mac Allister, Gravenberch and more

Liverpool may have withdrawn from the race to sign Jude Bellingham but there will still be plenty of change to their central midfield this summer. The club are in the hunt for at least two, and possibly three, midfielders in the upcoming window, and a lot of exploratory work and discussions have been carried out by their senior recruitment staff in recent weeks to determine, out of the players they have tracked extensively, who will be available and at what price. …”
The Athletic

Liverpool and how it became the football mural capital of the UK

“It is a glorious spring morning in north Liverpool and John Barnes is gazing up at the latest striking addition to Anfield’s growing collection of street art. Covering the entire end wall of a terraced house on Balfour Street, a five-minute stroll from the stadium he once graced as a player, it consists of two images of Barnes: a close-up of his face — brow furrowed, lips pursed — and another of him unleashing a left-footed shot. …”
The Athletic

Salah is back – this is the Liverpool tactical change that made it happen

“How many times have you watched Mohamed Salah play for Liverpool this season and felt he was too isolated, too wide and getting crowded out by opponents? There has seemingly been a rotating list of frustrations as the Egypt forward, alongside his team-mates, has failed to hit the lofty standards of previous years. …”
The Athletic

Maybe it’s time to welcome back the old fashioned wing-half – in modern guise

Bayern Munich, full-back Philipp Lahm
“One of the easiest and most misleading pieces of footballing received wisdom is that everything is cyclical. Wait long enough, the great drum of history will revolve again and the same ideas will come back round, be that sharp side-partings, the back three, Howard Webb apologising to Brighton or Roy Hodgson managing Crystal Palace. Except time is not a flat circle. Each iteration is different because it comes with knowledge of what went before. …”
Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Who will make Premier League top four? Analysing the run-ins of Champions League hopefuls

“We are on the home straight of the Premier League season and while the title might have become a two-horse race, there are still some highly lucrative spots up for grabs. There are arguably six clubs fighting for the remaining two Champions League spots, with fewer than 10 games to play. Newcastle United and Manchester United are currently leading the pack in the race for Europe’s most esteemed competition, but will it stay that way? …”
The Athletic

Liverpool’s poor away form: ‘You always fear for them now’

“After watching a sleepy and hollow performance against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, Liverpool fans boarded their coaches home from London with a familiar feeling. … Disappointment and frustration have been recurring feelings for Liverpool fans on the road this season. They have watched their team lose eight times but only seen three wins. A stark contrast to Liverpool’s past four seasons, where they lost nine times and won 50 games in total. …”
The Athletic – Liverpool’s poor away form: ‘You always fear for them now’

Liverpool against Arsenal dispelled a myth – it was proof tactical battles can be fun

“‘Intriguing tactical battles’ are generally considered to be a euphemism for matches that are tight, tense, and uneventful. This is something of a myth, however. Commentators, pundits and presenters refer to games in this manner when nothing else is happening, in an attempt to convince the armchair viewer that sitting through it isn’t a complete waste of their time. But Liverpool’s 2-2 Anfield draw with Arsenal yesterday was one of the most intriguing tactical battles you’ll see all season and one of the best games you’ll see all season. …”
The Athletic – Michael Cox

Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2: Firmino’s revival, Ramsdale’s rescue and a Premier League classic

Arsenal withstood a blistering second-half barrage from Liverpool to salvage what could yet prove a crucial draw in their pursuit of a first Premier League title since 2004. Aaron Ramsdale conjured two stunning late saves deep into stoppage time to ensure Arsenal left Anfield with a point for the first time in seven seasons after blowing a 2-0 lead. Their advantage at the top of the table now stands at six points, with second-placed Manchester City — who host the leaders later this month — holding a game in hand. …”
The Athletic

Game of Numbers #14 – Ilkay Gündoğan’s Movement Masterclass

“It’s spectacular to think that even within a midfield of Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Rodri, that İlkay Gündoğan remains one of City’s most important players when it matters most. He’s guaranteed a selection for 20-30 games in any given season, despite all the magnificent options operating around him. In fact, when fit, he’s often the team captain – even when more vocal players like Dias or De Bruyne remain available. This is all down to the German’s intelligence and magnificence when it comes to off-the-ball movement. …”
The Mastermindsite (Video)

Liverpool shouldn’t sack Klopp – but it is right questions are being asked of him

“Imagine, for a second, that Liverpool hadn’t appointed Jurgen Klopp in late 2015 and were instead forced to settle for an inferior manager who only marginally improved the club. In that world, the past few years in English football would have been very dull. Rather than Manchester City winning four of the last five titles — already a huge level of dominance, although two of them were only clinched on the final day ahead of Liverpool — they would presumably have coasted to five in a row without any serious challenge. …”
The Athletic (Video)
The Athletic: Liverpool’s whole defensive structure is struggling – it’s not just Virgil van Dijk

How Pep Guardiola turned John Stones into Manchester City’s midfield maestro

“John Stones’ performance against Liverpool on Saturday was a masterclass. In recent weeks, Stones has been Pep Guardiola’s inverted full-back, moving from right-back to central midfield seamlessly and helping Manchester City dominate games. While Stones has less impact in the final third compared to his predecessor Joao Cancelo, who used to move into midfield from left-back, the England international’s own style has allowed City to thrive in other ways. …”
The Athletic (Video)
The Athletic: Jurgen Klopp seems bullet-proof but Liverpool’s patience is not limitless

Jack Grealish, Manchester City’s coolest kid, teaches Liverpool a lesson

“Is anyone in Britain currently having more fun than Jack Grealish? Two minutes before the end of this 4-1 annihilation of Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium Grealish left the pitch to a standing ovation, met by a tender, oddly sensual full body hug from Pep Guardiola, who for a while just wouldn’t let him go, patting his buttocks, whispering in his ear, hungry for Jack love. …”
Guardian (Video)
Guardian – ‘Four performances were OK’: Klopp laments Liverpool’s display at City

At Liverpool, a Red Alert

“… Still, the award’s existence is harmless, even kind of sweet. It is a chance, after all, to give athletes who devote years to their craft a celebration they deserve. More of a problem is the cultural gravity it exerts: In the months before the ceremony, there is a tendency to present any sporting success solely in the light of how it might affect the award’s destination. …”
NY Times

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

“… 5) Howe eyes revenge – and McTominay. Newcastle may have lost February’s League Cup final to Manchester United but revenge against the same opponents at St James’ Park on Sunday would be particularly sweet for Eddie Howe’s side. While a home win would bolster Newcastle’s Champions League qualification hopes significantly, a key subplot of the match itself could involve central midfield. …”

Premier League predictions: Arsenal to edge title race but Manchester City to lift the Champions League?

“Will Arsenal hold on? Can Thomas Tuchel turn Bayern Munich into Champions League winners? Who will finish top four in the Premier League? And who will go down? And just how many league goals will Erling Haaland finish on in his first season at Manchester City? Oliver Kay, Daniel Taylor, Sarah Shephard, Nick Miller and Dan Sheldon assess the Premier League run-in and pick their Champions League and Europa League champions. …”
The Athletic

Premier League accounts: Latest finances for all 20 top-flight clubs

“It’s that time of year again. No, it’s not the dawn of spring with birds chirping and daylight actually lasting longer than the working day, it’s the end of the financial year and that means Premier League clubs must present their full accounts for the previous financial year — essentially the 2021-22 season. …”
The Athletic (Video)
YouTube: Football Club Accounts: Explained

How to move off the ball like a world class winger

“In the modern era, wingers can be as vital to scoring goals and creating chances as any other position on the pitch. Elite superstars like Mohamed Salah and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have illustrated this to a tee this year, for both their goal scoring prowess and chance creation supremacy. But most young players aspiring to be the world’s best struggle to see the finer details of exactly how the likes of Salah and Kvara find themselves in those scoring positions. With that, we break down how to move off the ball like a world class winger, with real examples from the likes mentioned above, in addition to Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Alex Morgan. …”
The Mastermindsite (Video)

Liverpool must pull off the impossible at Real Madrid – this is how they do it

“The odds will be stacked against Liverpool when they walk out at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night. Real Madrid’s 5-2 win in the first leg at Anfield three weeks ago — Liverpool’s heaviest defeat at home in the Champions League — left Jurgen Klopp’s side on the brink of elimination. The champions of Europe, three goals up in their own stadium, against a team beaten by lowly Bournemouth last weekend. Logic suggests the tie is already done and dusted. …”
The Athletic (Video)
The Athletic – Real Madrid 1 Liverpool 0: Klopp’s team limp out – who can stop the champions?

Liverpool’s elite status under threat after timid exit from the Champions League

“‘Where’s the final next year? Istanbul? Book the hotel,’ declared a bullish Jurgen Klopp after last season’s Champions League final defeat in Paris. Let’s hope those rooms are refundable. Klopp expected the good times to keep rolling, but over the course of this troubled season, Liverpool have been repeatedly exposed as a fading force. This limp last-16 exit at the hands of Real Madrid simply confirmed it. …”
The Athletic

Liverpool 7 Manchester United 0: Gakpo, Nunez and Salah run riot as Ten Hag’s men wilt

“Two goals each from Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah helped Liverpool power to a record win over Manchester United. Gakpo, the Netherlands forward signed from PSV Eindhoven in January, produced his best performance for Jurgen Klopp’s team, scoring two exquisite goals either side of Nunez’s 47th-minute header. Salah got in on the act with a fourth before Nunez got his second and the Egypt star completed his own double. Roberto Firmino, who confirmed this week he will be leaving at the end of the season, came off the bench to complete the rout. …”
The Athletic
The Athletic: Ten Hag has used ruthlessness and running but this Man Utd humbling needs a new response (Video)
Guardian: Ten Hag accuses Manchester United of being ‘unprofessional’ in Liverpool rout
BBC: Bruno Fernandes a ‘disgrace’ & Manchester United ‘eaten alive’ in Liverpool thrashing
Guardian: Salah and Liverpool make history with seven-goal rout of Manchester United

Liverpool, Napoli and the Problem With Systems

Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool has lost its edge.
“There is no such thing as a 4-3-3. The same goes for all those pithy threads of numbers that are hard-wired into soccer’s vernacular, the communal, universal drop-down list of legitimate patterns in which a team might be arrayed: 3-5-2 and 4-2-3-1 and even the fabled, fading 4-4-2. They are familiar, reflexive. But none of them exist. Not really. …”
NY Times

The Premier League runout songs – from Star Wars to the Stone Roses

“One of the most memorable and/or toe-curling scenes from the documentary series Sunderland ’Til I Die came when budding Ministry Of Sound DJ/new club director Charlie Methven discussed mixing things up music-wise. To replace Dance Of The Knights, the foreboding Prokofiev piece which had been a staple at the Stadium of Light since it was built in the 1990s, Methven got out the figurative glow sticks and suggested they play Tiesto’s 2005 club smash Adagio For Strings. All while affecting a ‘Yeah, sure, I used to spin a little in my time… before I went to work for JP Morgan’ vibe, which didn’t quite mesh with the locals. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Ain’t Got No History? The Most Successful English Clubs

“A football club’s history is wielded as both a source of validation and a sad lament for the passing of better times. Arsenal fans concerned that their club haven’t been league champions for 17 years should think about how Sheffield United supporters feel about the 123 years that have passed since their club finished top of the pile in England. Can we definitively prove Preston supporters think about the year 1888 more than anyone else? No, but it’s true. …”
The Analyst

The five reasons Liverpool have a broken defence

“For all the talk about Liverpool’s impending midfield rebuild this summer, it is becoming increasingly clear they need to strengthen their backline, too. Defensive errors heavily contributed to Tuesday night’s chastening Champions League thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid. “I think we gave all five goals away and that means we could have done better,” admitted Jurgen Klopp. The sight of Liverpool capitulating wasn’t a one-off. Alarmingly, it was the eighth time in all competitions this season they have conceded three times or more. …”
The Athletic (Video)
NY Times: Real Madrid Leaves Liverpool Chasing Shadows of Itself
Guardian: Liverpool and Klopp face big task to limit fallout from Real Madrid fiasco

The Football Sustainability Index: How well run is your club?

“The coming days and weeks will bring the moment that sees English football forced to embrace change. The government’s white paper is expected imminently, crystallizing the key recommendations proposed by the exhaustive fan-led review of the national sport’s governance. Those in power have now concluded that football cannot carry on as it was. Too many clubs have been allowed to unravel. Some irretrievably so. Increased regulation, despite the Premier League’s lobbying, will finally be introduced in 2023. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Why Liverpool keep failing to beat Real Madrid: ‘They were almost mocking us’

“… As he basked in the glory of winning the Champions League last summer, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’s reflections were telling. Their path to victory had included knockout ties with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City, yet the Italian deemed Jurgen Klopp’s side the easiest to prepare for tactically. … The pair have faced each other four times during three Champions League campaigns between 2017-2018 and 2021-2022. On each occasion, Liverpool have been second best. If they have any hope of winning silverware this season, they need to change the narrative when the two meet in the first leg of the last 16 of the Champions League tonight.”
The Athletic

Liverpool not for sale: FSG have ruled out a full takeover, so what happens next?

“If the battle to assume ownership of Manchester United continues to intensify, Liverpool have quietly accepted now is not the time for their own takeover. Fenway Sports Group (FSG), it has become abundantly clear, are here for the foreseeable future. John W Henry, Liverpool’s principal owner, confirmed as much on Monday. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

“1) Potter faces uphill task to convince fans. Stamford Bridge was not a happy place after Chelsea’s insipid defeat by Southampton. There was no holding back. Loud boos greeted the final whistle and the mood near the dugout was ugly. A fair few fans were bellowing abuse at Graham Potter and the worry for Chelsea’s head coach, who has been in the job only since September, will be that he has already lost the crowd. Chelsea supporters loved Thomas Tuchel and many do not see Potter as an upgrade on the German. …”

The art of staying onside

“Anyone who’s familiar with football is likely also familiar with dads screaming from the sidelines at referees when that flag goes up to catch a player offside. When it comes to the professional level, it’s not just dads screaming, but millions of fans. Unfortunately for those screaming dads (and millions of fans), chances are, the attacker should have timed their run better to avoid the question even being asked in the first place. Since Graham Potter took over at Chelsea, this has been a reoccurring issue for the Blues (staying onside; not screaming parents). …”
The Mastermindsite (Video)

European Super League: This week was a glimpse of what that world could look like

Liverpool vs Everton, Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayern Munich, AC Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal vs Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea, Barcelona vs Manchester United. From Monday to Thursday, this week’s football fixtures have offered night after night of glamorous, high-profile match-ups between some of European football’s elite clubs. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Liverpool’s right-side triangle returns just in time for Real Madrid tie

“During Liverpool’s run towards Champions League glory back in 2019, one adjustment paved the way for future success. After introducing Jordan Henderson as a right-sided midfielder for the last 31 minutes against Southampton in April 2019, Jurgen Klopp started the English midfielder on the right side of his midfield against Porto four days later in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Champions League. …”
The Athletic

Newcastle 0 Liverpool 2: Klopp’s top-four bid alive, Pope’s agony, Alisson’s excellence

Newcastle’s meeting with Liverpool always had the look of the game of the weekend, and it duly delivered the drama to justify that status. A 2-0 win for Jurgen Klopp’s side reignited their previously fading hopes of securing a place in the top four, but of arguably more significance was a red card to Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope that leaves Eddie Howe desperately short of goalkeeping options ahead of next weekend’s Carabao Cup final. …”
The Athletic

The best goalkeeping performances in Champions League history – ranked

“There’s been plenty of brilliant individual performances in the UEFA Champions League down the years. Lionel Messi vs. Man Utd, Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Juventus, Ronaldo (R9) vs. Manchester United are some of the standouts from the outfield players, but what about goalkeepers? Well, here’s the five best from the boys between the posts. …”

Liverpool, Real Madrid and terror at the Champions League final: Fans’ stories

“The Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid should have been one of last year’s great sporting showpieces — a meeting between two of European football’s aristocrats, in one of Europe’s grandest venues, in one of its finest cities, for arguably club football’s greatest prize. Instead, the day turned into a nightmare for thousands of supporters. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Champions League last-16 preview: Analysing each team’s tactics

“Europe’s top competition is back. For those who have missed the soothing tones of the Champions League anthem, fear not. The knockout stage is upon us and we have 16 more games to feast on over the next four weeks. Using FiveThirtyEight’s well-respected prediction model, Bayern Munich stand as favourites to win the competition, edging ahead of Manchester City, Real Madrid and dark horses Napoli. However, we all know how knockout football works — do not expect things to go the way you might predict. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Uefa had ‘primary responsibility’ for Champions League final chaos, damning report finds

“Uefa bears ‘primary responsibility’ for the catastrophic organisational and safety failures that turned last season’s Champions League final into a horrific, traumatic experience for thousands of supporters, Uefa’s own review has concluded. That central finding, and alarming criticisms of the culture and operations at the confederation of European football, and of the French police, are made in a damning report produced by the panel Uefa appointed to review the chaos that engulfed the final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Paris last May. …”

Jurgen Klopp turned doubters into believers once already at Liverpool. Now he must do it again

“… Barely a year after reaching the Champions League final, Dortmund went on a run that saw them lose 11 of their first 19 games of the Bundesliga season. In early February they were bottom of the table, an astonishing fall from grace for Klopp and his team. Eventually, they rallied to win five and draw two of their next seven games, moving away from the relegation zone and ending up in seventh position. But after seven years, two Bundesliga titles, a German Cup, two German Super Cups, one Champions League final and more magical moments than their fans could ever have dreamed when he arrived from Mainz in 2008, Klopp told the Dortmund hierarchy in early April 2015 that he, his players and the club needed a change. …”
The Athletic
The Athletic: The problems facing Liverpool in the biggest crisis of Jurgen Klopp’s reign (Video)

The great Liverpool rebuild: Who deserves to stay and who should go?

“Sell them all. Rip it up and clear it out. Nothing is working and it just keeps getting worse. There are no other options. If you had not rage-quit your Football Manager play-through already with Liverpool’s season going so badly wrong, the next tactic would be listing as many players as you wanted on the transfer list and having a crazy summer window. …”
The Athletic

Premier League mid-season review: Who wins the title? Who gets top four? Best signing?

“Will Arsenal hold off the challenge of Manchester City to win their first Premier League title since 2004? Who has been the best signing of 2022-23? And what about the worst? What’s been your goal of the season? And how about your favourite game? We asked a group of our writers to review the Premier League season so far — and their responses feature a lot of Mikel Arteta and Erling Haaland… ”
The Athletic

Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool slump explained – a team failure, not an individual one

“When Mohamed Salah finished joint top of the Premier League’s scoring charts with Tottenham’s Son Heung-min in May, it earned the Liverpool attacker his third Golden Boot in five seasons. In the absence of a major international tournament, Salah then had an extended summer break and his contract saga was resolved when he signed a new three-year contract worth more than £350,000 per week — making him the highest-paid player in the club’s history. …”
The Athletic

Arsenal’s clever corners and their importance in the Premier League title race

“On April 10, 1993, Manchester United needed a win to regain top spot in the inaugural Premier League season. A draw against Sheffield Wednesday would not have been enough to return to the summit with only five games remaining afterwards. The final minutes of that game played a major role in United’s first Premier League title. …”
The Athletic

Diogo Dalot and the role of the modern fullback

Positions are constantly evolving in modern football. Or rather, there are no new ideas in football. Just new contexts in which old ideas seem revitalised. None more so than the role of the full back. Liverpool’s Robertson and Alexander-Arnold appeared to have redefined the modern full back, but more recently we are seeing ‘inverted’ full backs. And some full backs, like Diogo Dalot can be like Robertson and Alexander-Arnold, and invert. Jon Mackenzie explains how. Marco Bevilacqua illustrates.

Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea analysed: An attempt to tell you that was interesting

We knew it was going to be 0-0, it was 0-0, and we still committed to 16 Conclusions on Liverpool v Chelsea. Only ourselves to blame.
“Well, that wasn’t thrilling, was it? Last season, Liverpool and Chelsea played each other on the way to finishing second and third in the Premier League and contested both domestic cup finals. These clubs have won half of the past four Champions League finals. But their 2022-23 reality is a bit bleaker and they look very unlikely to compete for top-four places over the season’s remaining four months. …”
The Athletic
Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea: 16 Conclusions on a game that showed why ninth v tenth doesn’t usually get 16 Conclusions
Guardian: Mykhailo Mudryk cameo livens up Chelsea’s goalless draw at Liverpool (Video)

Fixing Klopp’s Liverpool: Five quick changes that would help

“Jurgen Klopp said he could not recall a worse performance in his career as a manager than Liverpool’s defeat to Brighton on Saturday, adding on Monday that it “shouldn’t be that difficult” to play better against Wolves in the FA Cup replay on Tuesday evening, but how can he improve his team quickly? Klopp said they need to ‘go back to basics’, putting an emphasis on improving their defending. Having lost only twice in the league in the whole of 2021-22, Liverpool have already been beaten six times this season. …”
The Athletic

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez analysed by Alan Shearer: the pace, the power, the misses

“Strikers dwell on misses, but the time you worry and the time that sleep deserts you is the time chances don’t come. Big moments can linger and you replay them in your mind — nothing stays with you like a penalty gone awry — but they’re rarely symptoms of sickness in your game. That’s why I have few concerns about Darwin Nunez and his form for Liverpool because his ability is obvious and the rest he can learn. If he wants to improve, he will. …”
The Athletic

“It’s Not a Jürgen Klopp Team”: Analysing Liverpool’s Struggles in Midfield

“‘It’s not a Jürgen Klopp team.’ Jamie Carragher isn’t the first person to say something like that about Liverpool this season and we can’t imagine he will be the last. The Reds saw their four-game Premier League winning streak come to an end against Brentford last week, with the Bees winning 3-1, and are now seven points off a top-four spot. There is a real danger that the 2022 Champions League finalists will have to settle for a Europa League berth next campaign. …”
The Analyst

Ornstein: Arsenal hire ‘Tekkers Guru’, Zaha to stay at Palace, Hazard talks, West Ham in for En-Nesyri

Arsenal face an FA Cup third-round tie at League One side Oxford United tonight, as Mikel Arteta’s men attempt to continue their progress in a campaign that has seen them become Premier League front-runners. Arteta is at the centre of a rebuilding job which, after a troubled period, appears to be turning the side into a competitive force once again — and the efforts to improve show little sign of abating. …”
The Athletic (Video)

How Brentford’s corners bamboozled Liverpool – changing targets and masterful movement

“If you open the Oxford English Dictionary and search for “set piece”, there is a chance there will soon be a picture of Brentford’s badge alongside the explanation. This is because the London club are becoming increasingly lethal from them. For a couple of years, Brentford have focused on set pieces to give them an edge in an era of football where marginal advantages make the difference. The fact their previous set-piece coaches, Gianni Vio and Nicolas Jover, have gone on to transform Tottenham and Arsenal’s set pieces in the past two years is an indication of how progressive Brentford’s thinking is in this area. …”
The Athletic

Unpredictable Mbeumo and Wissa show Brentford can survive without Toney

“It turns out there was no need to panic. The build-up to Brentford’s incredible 3-1 victory over Liverpool was dominated by fitness concerns around Ivan Toney. The forward had to be taken off on a stretcher in the final minutes of Brentford’s 2-0 win over West Ham United just four days earlier with a nasty-looking leg injury. He fell awkwardly trying to clear the ball from a corner and the initial fear was that he could be out for months. …”
The Athletic (Video)
The Athletic: New year, same problems for disjointed Liverpool

Liverpool at risk of vicious circle as problems escalate at Brentford

“If football really was the simple game of cliche, it would be easy for Liverpool to identify a single issue, work out a solution and put it right. This, after all, is the team that have, for five years, been consistently the second-best side in England. Yet, after a shambolic defeat at Brentford, they lie 15 points behind the leaders, Arsenal, and, more pertinently, four points off Manchester United in fourth, having played a game more. What must be most troubling is the sense of plates across the stage stopping spinning as Jürgen Klopp dashes frantically between them. …”

Liverpool’s midfield issues are clear – January provides the chance to find a solution

“‘A fantastic win,’ declared Virgil van Dijk deadpan to the waiting written media. Then a big grin crept across his face. The pretence wasn’t maintained. Liverpool could afford to see the funny side after a fourth straight Premier League victory lifted them to within two points of the Champions League places after 16 games. Christmas is a time for giving, and how grateful Van Dijk and company were for the generosity shown by the hapless Wout Faes, who became the first Premier League player to score two own goals in one top-flight game since Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters managed it against Chelsea in 2013. …”
The Athletic (Video)