"In the past five games, we have a stable state in the league, but confidence is like a fragile flower. We must ensure that we maintain this mentality."
At the pre-match press conference, klopp said this when talking about the team’s mentality after winning the big victory over Manchester United last week. He knows very well that not every game is played against Manchester United, and not every game can win seven goals.
However, even in the previous games, Liverpool played a good performance and results, but as we mentioned in the previous tactical observation, the strength of this set of things in Liverpool is doubtful, and beating Manchester United is more like an accident dominated by Manchester United.
The loss to Bournemouth is a good proof.
Compared with last week’s starting line-up, Liverpool made only one personnel change at the starting level, and bajcetic replaced Henderson.
And the tactics of the previous three games are the same. After the opening, Liverpool is still full-back, which greatly supports the offensive end:
Driven by such tactics, Liverpool’s offensive end performed well in the opening stage.
So in recent days, Liverpool’s tactical layout is actually like this (the yellow chess piece is Liverpool):
The full-back pressed on, widened the attack width and wrapped the three strikers into the middle. Jiakebo retreat, and the attack level before and after Nunez and Salah formed. The third middle court and double central defenders guard the backcourt and are responsible for dealing with the defensive problems of punctuality in attack and turn.
Among them, Eliot also has the offensive responsibility of post-insertion, and makes use of its characteristics of being versatile in both sides and middle, forming more rotations and transposition in local positions.
This is actually the basic tactics of Liverpool at its peak. In the period when Manet, Salah and firmino were all extremely powerful, the power of the offensive end was quite amazing. When Van Dyke and Fabinho were young, including Henderson and wijnaldum, they were more sure of the ball right and space coverage.
But now Liverpool’s staff, in fact, can’t hold up this content.
The 9th minute, Bournemouth hit a counterattack:
Although the source of the counterattack was Fabinho and Arnold’s mistakes in handling the ball, in an unexpected situation, Van Dyke’s front-top action was obviously not fast enough, which made Solanke open the angle, and Ouattara, who got the ball, dumped bajcetic and came all the way to the door:
In the 25th minute, Billing directly dropped Elliot in the confrontation, which caused konate’s foul:
Bournemouth’s counterattack in the 36th minute exposed Liverpool’s current problems more thoroughly. When Liverpool got the ball in the backcourt, the positions of the double central defenders and the third middle court were very clear:
As a result, the connection between konate and the frontcourt failed, and Bournemouth directly formed a counterattack on the spot. In the freeze-frame picture, we can clearly see the weak areas of Liverpool at that time:
Unfortunately, Bournemouth didn’t make a good counterattack this time. Like Rachford’s shot last week, Solanke didn’t threaten the door at the centre-back:
Three attacks, Eliot and bajcetic, who were originally responsible for protecting the backcourt instead of full-backs, didn’t work.
Yes, in this tactic, since the full-backs have been entrusted with the important task of forward attack, it is very normal for them to have space behind them when they turn to attack, and it is unreasonable to criticize them for not being able to return to their positions, because at this moment, it is Elliot and bajcetic’s responsibility to help the single central defender and the double central defender cover the space and regain the ball.
No, that’s their problem with klopp.
In fact, not only teenagers can’t do it, but also veterans can’t do it.
In the 20th minute, Bournemouth first caught Fabinho’s side area. After konate was teased out, Billing went to explore the space behind him, forming a cross on the left:
In the 22nd minute, Fabinho followed the frontcourt to force the grab, konate headed Solanke, and it was normal for the central defender to hesitate in this area, so the problems of konate and Van Dyke could be understood, but the consequence was that Bournemouth directly formed a counterattack:
So in the 28th minute, Bournemouth once again started from the space between the winger and the full-back. Van Dyke defended Ouattara one by one, lost his body and let him hold the ball. What’s worse, he couldn’t start again after standing still. As a result, Ouattara sent a cross and created the only goal in this game:
The problem is not over yet.
In the 43rd minute, when Bournemouth developed a cross to the back point, Van Dyke’s start was a little slower, giving Solanke room to attack:
Dozens of seconds later, Solanke shook Van Dyke in one-on-one, forcing the latter to use excessive action:
With a little bad luck, Van Dyke’s game may be here.
So this is the most obvious problem at this stage. In the big space, not only the peripheral protection forces like Elliot and bajcetic are not qualified, but also the protected people-Fabinho and Van Dyke.
In the first half of the season, attacking Arnold is the easiest way for Liverpool’s opponents to think of attacking. However, under this tactical system, it is meaningless to attack a player who is supposed to play more on the offensive end and leave room behind. Just like Bournemouth in this game, left-back Anthony did not single Arnold several times. More importantly, he returned to the middle as soon as possible after getting the ball, so that Billing, Solanke and others could consume Liverpool’s backcourt and use their confrontation and Ouattara’s insertion on the weak side.
This is the most deadly place for Liverpool on the defensive end at present.
In klopp’s way, he can’t fail to see what Bournemouth is doing.
So in the second half, he took the lead in changing people, not only adding more on the offensive end, but also changing into jota in order to score goals. More importantly, let bajcetic retreat to Fabinho’s side and form a double-waist position. On the front, strengthen a little protection in front of Van Dyke:
Under such a tactical system, Liverpool’s full-backs need to adjust their forward insertion range, because at this time, if both sides are on, there will be only four people left when defending and attacking.
Only when you try your best to score goals, such as in the second half of the game, can you consider this.
So in the opening stage of the second half, it is obvious that Robertson’s forward insertion is stronger and faster than Arnold’s side, and Arnold appears more and more in the backcourt:
This time, it is time to directly hit Arnold:
However, even if the tactics are adjusted, the back waistline is still not reassuring:
Klopp also knows very well that we can’t leave too many weak defensive rings in the backcourt at this time, especially when the team is about to press heavily, so in the 65th minute, he replaced Arnold and Fabio with Milner and Henderson.
A minute later, Liverpool passed Milner’s insertion and cross, and jota made a penalty at the back point, but Salah missed:
In this way, Bournemouth can continue to retreat, fully compress the ball handling space of Huckabee, Nunez and Salah in the middle, and constantly create opportunities for defending and attacking.
On the offensive end, we constantly use counter-attacks to create pressure on Liverpool’s backcourt and chop up the time period of Liverpool’s siege:
In this way, it is not surprising that Liverpool lost this away game.
After the game, many fans and friends mentioned Salah and suggested that he should be allowed to take a rest in rotation, but it must be said that this opinion is unrealistic.
As early as last March, we began to mention the problem of Salah playing winger, and a year later, klopp tactically let all the full-backs on both sides, in essence, it is still to ensure that Salah continues to play winger, with someone on the outside and someone on the inside. Salah can continue to stand on the right wing even if he can’t play anything.
It’s just that with such tactics, a lot of resources are tilted to him, and less to Van Dyke, which will expose Van Dyke.
If the resources are tilted to Van Dyke, that is the idea of winning Manchester City in the first half. When Salah enters the middle road, he still needs to keep working, sprinting, confronting and consuming the opponent’s central defender. Such hard work is obviously the way he doesn’t want to play. klopp seems to agree with this, so he picks up the old guy of 433 again.
But at this stage, Liverpool should actually tilt its resources to Van Dyke, not only because the old central defender has more long-term value than the old winger, but more importantly, Nunez can play better when there is space, while Huckabee at this stage needs space to play, because he is not a player of firmino’s size, nor does he have firmino’s excellent technology in a narrow space.
Bournemouth won’t provide Huckabee with a lot of space like Manchester United, so the quality of his peripheral work will become like this:
As we mentioned last week, beating Manchester United can bring more confidence to Liverpool players, but tactical problems will not disappear with a big victory.
Playing Manchester United is different from playing other opponents after all, and Manchester United will not play football with a low face like Bournemouth, so once the frontcourt does nothing in a dense space, Liverpool’s backcourt will expose problems in a large space, which is a pit that this tactical system can’t bypass.
Klopp chose to protect Salah, so he can’t protect Van Dyke under the existing midfield quality, so the summer window reinforcement is certain, but before that, Liverpool have to keep their own lower limit.
If you don’t qualify for the Champions League, the flower of confidence in Liverpool will fade.