How Liverpool have proven to be a threat from every situation on the field
There was a time when Liverpool were known for conceding too easily from set-pieces and deliveries. Each time an opposition team won a corner or a free-kick in Liverpool’s half, the Reds fans’ hearts would be in their mouth.
Over the last few seasons, Liverpool have conceded a number of sloppy goals through set-pieces. But that frustrating pattern has started to fade away over the last season. Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool are always an attacking threat.
The Reds are well-known for their offensive nous on the field. Starting from the goalkeeper, the defenders and the midfielders are all involved in the attack.
In the last game against West Ham United, Liverpool came close to scoring through Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane twice. The former was sent one-on-one against Wan-Bissaka after Crystal Palace’s corner was dealt with ease by Alisson.
The Brazilian immediately pounced on the ball, grabbing it in the air and then lofting a long ball into Salah’s path, who was waiting at the half line.
Unfortunately, the ball was a little too high for the Egyptian with Wan-Bissaka coming to the rescue. With Alisson Becker at the club, the Reds’ attack will always be kept on their toes, given the Brazilian’s ability to distribute flawlessly in the final third. He is capable of sending in long balls for the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah.
As evidenced in the game against the Hammers, Liverpool initiated a counter-attack within minutes of defending a corner. Interestingly, in a game against West Ham last season, Salah scored a similar goal on the counter.
West Ham were often caught out of possession from their own corner, with Liverpool’s attack then initiating a counter. The likes of Mane and Salah were enough to leave the defenders in their dust, with Aaron Cresswell being the only one left to deal with the Reds duo.
Unsurprisingly, Mane waited to draw Cresswell closer to him before he played Salah in, who duly slotted home to send Anfield into raptures.
Jurgen Klopp often chooses to defend set-pieces using the zonal marking system. Though a tough and risky system as compared to man-to-man marking, it seems to be paying off. Liverpool’s defenders are now aware that they must keep the ball out of the net and push it out of their box, and the attack will do the rest.
What makes this brilliant to watch is the Liverpool trio’s pace and cohesion while going forward. Roberto Firmino is brilliant at holding onto the ball and playing in one of the wingers.
Once the likes of Mane and Salah see green ahead, it’s hard to stop them. And since Virgil van Dijk was brought into the squad, Liverpool have barely conceded from set-pieces, with the Dutchman showing his dominance in the air.