Quantcast
Fulham 1 Liverpool 2 (Mar 17 2019) - FF - Football Forum - The Liverpool Way Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
tlw content

Fulham 1 Liverpool 2 (Mar 17 2019)

Recommended Posts

 

 
dave_usher.jpg
 
Report by
Dave Usher

 

It feels churlish to keep harking back to last season considering we’re doing so much better this year (we've already got more points and have seven games left!), but watching this I couldn’t help but think that we’d have scored six in a game like this last year without even breaking sweat. I know, I know, I’m even annoying myself with this 17/18 season nostalgia, but I can’t help it. Fulham were dreadful and they were there for the taking. Frankly, it’s ridiculous that we needed a late penalty to get over the line.

 

This should have been a routine win with a big dent put into the seven goal advantage City have over us. Instead it was a torturous last 15 minutes that has probably knocked six months off the end of my life. We won’t play a worse team all season (Huddersfield are shite but at least they can get behind the ball and make it difficult) but it’s typical Liverpool that they can make it look easy against Bayern Munich and then almost royally fuck things up against Fulham.

 

Sometimes games are just really difficult because the opposition dig in and are well organised, or because the players just can’t really get going. Neither was the case here. We played well in most aspects of the game and it never looked flat or disjointed. Fulham may have had men back behind the ball but there were still gaps all over the place and we had no problems playing through them. 

 

Up until the final pass, cross or shot I thought we looked good. We passed it around, switched the play quickly, found space between the lines, won it back quickly when we lost it and basically did everything you’d want to do up until the decisive moment, which was usually shite. That's why I think we'd have killed them last season.

 

I’m singling out Mo as the worst offender but it wasn’t just him. Both full backs got into some great positions but their delivery just wasn’t up to the usual standard, while Bobby started the game brightly but faded, seemingly bothered by whatever injury it was he picked up late in the first half.

 

It was mostly Salah though. He’s definitely let the recent lack of goals get in his head now. He’s missing easy chances, he’s going it alone when he should be passing, dribbling when he should be shooting, and too many of his shots are going straight down the keeper’s throat, whereas last year they were finding the top corner.

 

The worst moment of the game for him was when he completely ruined a glorious counter attacking opportunity because of a terrible, inexplicable decision. He had two players to his left and only needed to come inside to open everything up, but instead he went the other way and lost the ball. That just doesn’t happen if he’d been scoring regularly.

 

I said a few weeks ago that the Salah we’re seeing now is the Salah we thought we were getting when he signed him. A very good player but not the superstar he morphed into within a few weeks of his arrival. Sadly, “Superstar Mo” left the building in Kiev and barring a handful of cameo’s hasn’t been seen since. I keep saying it, but we need him back sharpish if we’re going to get over the line in either of these competitions we’re chasing.

 

We’d be well clear at the top with last year’s Mo and that’s just so incredibly frustrating. It’s not his fault and he’s trying his best, but whereas last year everything just happened naturally and he didn’t have to think about anything, this year has been the opposite. He’s not playing on instinct and some of his decision making has been dreadful. Sometimes it feels like he's really close to exploding in a flurry of goals again, other times it looks like he couldn't hit Harry Maguire's arse with a banjo.

 

 

This is just a teaser, click here to view the full report

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought the goal was completely on Van Dijk.  You’re winning 1-0 and for one of the few times in the game you’re running back to goal under pressure.  Just put it in the stands or hook it over your head.  It was an unnecessary risk that was a bit out of character for him.  As soon as he sees Alisson hasn’t come out for it he should just deal with it and bollock Alisson for not being awake when the ball is in touch.  The game being too easy led to Van Dijk doing that.  If that was against city or in a champions league final he doesn’t do it and everyone needs to be treating every game from now to the end of the season like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Virgil should have cleared it in my opinion. That would have simplified everything. But a dreadful hoof from Milner. And terrible indecision from Allison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Games after CL are always difficult. I thought we did not had that many clear chances. But they were indeed abysmal.

 

Dave, what’s going on with Shaqiri? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, The Guest said:

Thought the goal was completely on Van Dijk.  You’re winning 1-0 and for one of the few times in the game you’re running back to goal under pressure.  Just put it in the stands or hook it over your head.  It was an unnecessary risk that was a bit out of character for him.  As soon as he sees Alisson hasn’t come out for it he should just deal with it and bollock Alisson for not being awake when the ball is in touch.  The game being too easy led to Van Dijk doing that.  If that was against city or in a champions league final he doesn’t do it and everyone needs to be treating every game from now to the end of the season like that.

 

I agree with pretty much all of that actually, especially how it might have been too easy and he wouldn't have done that against better opposition.

 

I still think it was proper shit from Alisson though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Arnaud said:

Games after CL are always difficult. I thought we did not had that many clear chances. But they were indeed abysmal.

 

Dave, what’s going on with Shaqiri? 

 

Last seasons record following champions League games. 

 

Four wins.   Tight 1-0 against palace.   Big wins against Arsenal,  West Ham and Bournemouth.

 

Three defeats to spurs Utd and Chelsea.

 

Six draws against Burnley,  Newcastle,  Chelsea,  Everton x2 & Stoke.   Seven goals scored in the nine games we fucked up in. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this had been one of those post CL 'flat' performances where we looked leggy and nothing came easy to us, it would have been easier to understand. It wasn't like that though. We had energy, we were flying around, we passed it well, got into the right spaces, did everything you'd want us to do. 

 

Then it came to the final pass or shot and it was just crap. So frustrating to watch but ultimately we got away with it and we keep rolling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, dave u said:

 

I agree with pretty much all of that actually, especially how it might have been too easy and he wouldn't have done that against better opposition.

 

I still think it was proper shit from Alisson though.

I thought he was trying to play the percentages.  How many times do you see keepers dive at a ball and take a striker out giving a pen away.  I know he pulled off that brilliant one against United but he rarely commits like that.  He makes himself big and stops a lot of those one on ones doing it.  He tried the same with this and just got massively unlucky.  I think my point is that Milners was a fuck up that can happen to anyone and Alisson’s was also a situation he was forced into.  The whole thing could have been dealt with by big Virg playing safe because he was the one in control of his situation.  It’s a testament to the standard we hold him to though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their goal was greatly influenced by the wind. We had a gale behind us second half and the sliced clearance from Millie held up. This caused some uncertainty between VVD and Alisson making a pass back more difficult.

 

All 3 might have done better but there are mitigating circumstances.

 

And on Mo, whilst he is clearly suffering from a lack of confidence, the fact opposition teams are double teaming him leaves space for others - eg Sadio. He will score soon and everything will be fine...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The goal is on Virgil for me. He let Babel get close to him by slowing down and putting his arms out as if to say "where are you Allisson" when the ball was about 10 yards outside the area, then he compounded that with a poor header. Still as The Guest said it's a testament to his high standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Arnaud said:

Games after CL are always difficult. I thought we did not had that many clear chances. But they were indeed abysmal.

 

Dave, what’s going on with Shaqiri? 

 

The Swiss press reckon he’s been carrying a groin strain since Xmas, but we leave him on the bench as a decoy, presumably because there’s no-one else...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cinco veces said:

 

The Swiss press reckon he’s been carrying a groin strain since Xmas, but we leave him on the bench as a decoy, presumably because there’s no-one else...

Just read on the BBC that he's out of the Swiss Internationals with a groin strain!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good report, Dave.  Not turning possession & chances into goals would have cost against a decent team. Still, Big Virg's mistake for the season is now behind us, Mo has got to start scoring again soon and the break should see Hendo (& Lovren?) fit again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mo isn't up to the standards of last season but that 60-70 yard run to get back and cover the defence when Fulham broke from a corner was fucking great, don't think I've seen that from him before.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is such a weird season, record points yet some really slack play in so many games. We've been saying since the start of the season that just wait until we click but it's never really happened other than the odd game. I watch the warm-ups when the full backs get to the bye-line and cross for the forwards or have a shot and 9 times out of 10 they miss, so we shouldn't be too shocked when they do the same in the match. But it's so annoying - we hit the first man again and again and again or hit it straight at the keeper again and again and again. Every other fucking side manage to put it through the defender's legs to put it on a plate for their strikers so why the fuck can't we!!! Dave's right that if we had 2017-18 Salah we would be walking the League but the same applies to Firmino. The 2019 version is a pale shadow - there was one break in the 1st half when he had about 3 different team mates available to put through on goal and he passed it straight into touch for a goal kick. "WTF was he thinking of" I bellowed at the mrs.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Available Subscriptions

  • Last Match Report

  • Latest Posts

    • How the fuck do Everton deserve the tag “high achieving”?
    • Inside Liverpool's transfer policy: how patience helped them become European champions Towards the end of his seven-year stint as manager of Borussia Dortmund, Jürgen Klopp would often wonder "what if?"   What if Nuri Sahin, Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Shinji Kagawa had remained on his team instead of being seduced away by Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United respectively? What if that supremely talented, young and cohesive team he constructed were able to develop together for a few more seasons? It was natural for Klopp to wonder because to him, the answer was obvious: BVB would have celebrated at least one Champions League triumph having lost the 2013 final to Bayern and counted more Bundesliga titles than the two they won in that period from 2008-15.   While the 52-year-old has a larger-than-life appreciation of the chaos created by football through its unpredictability and emotional pull, what the Liverpool manager truly covets is much more sensible: consistency and continuity. At Anfield, those two things are crucial to a side that registered a club-high 97 league points last season before winning a sixth European Cup by overcoming Tottenham in Madrid, the first trophy under Klopp.   While Dortmund could never quite shelter themselves from football's mega-spending predators, a powered-up Liverpool have been able to tie down their major assets with minimal fuss. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have signed new, extended contracts with Liverpool over the past year. Virgil van Dijk wants to agree a new deal and Divock Origi has been offered new terms, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip and James Milner among those expected to be next in line. In a market where many of the game's chief forces like Real, Bayern, Barcelona and Man United have to spend considerably to reconstruct their squads, the Merseysiders have prioritised a policy of retention.   As one source explained to ESPN FC: "Those clubs would happily trade places with Liverpool. We have stability at a time when so much is left up in the air around Europe, especially with regards to the future of some big players [Neymarand Paul Pogba to name just two], which makes the landscape volatile."   Liverpool's security is a product of the collaborative relationship between Klopp, sporting director Michael Edwards and Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon. It's made the club an easy sell to top targets and a place where their existing superstars believe they can achieve their ambitions. It's also in sharp contrast to the previous regime, in which former captain Steven Gerrard would literally be texting the names on Liverpool's wishlist to encourage them to move. (At one time, with a mix of hope and embarrassment, he reached out to Toni Kroos, Willian and Alexis Sanchez in this fashion.) The legend was the club's biggest draw but given that the Reds weren't consistently in the hunt for top honors at home or in Europe, lining up alongside him was not a viable reason for high-calibre players to join.   Since his appointment in October 2015, Klopp has made Edwards' job easier through his clear vision for the on-field product. Liverpool have a stylistic profile to recruit for, and Klopp has made the sales pitch and negotiation process smoother. Their mutual respect and trust -- Edwards and Klopp have an "open-door policy" at the office -- allows the club to enact a unified strategy: there are no competing egos or agendas at play. Where politics, a lack of transparency, flaws in structure and no coherent plan can reign supreme at an elite level -- Man United being a case in point -- there is one vision at Liverpool that everyone subscribes to.   Gordon, owner FSG's main representative at the club, can therefore underwrite the pair's transfer plans with complete conviction in their process. Along with Klopp and Edwards, he believes Liverpool's roster is one of the most valuable, harmonious and enviable in Europe.   The key pieces have been acquired steadily over time, but the past two years have seen the majority of players arrive as Klopp's vision for the on-field tactics has taken root.   Left-back Robertson, signed from Hull City for £8 million in July 2017 -- the bulk of his cost settled by squad player Kevin Stewart moving in the opposite direction -- would now fetch over £65m given the valuation of Man United target Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Firmino, Salah and Mane, brought in for less than £100m combined, are among Europe's most feared and productive forwards.   Liverpool made Van Dijk the world's most expensive defender at £75m but could demand nearly treble that for him if a team made inquiries. Both midfielder Fabinho (£43m) and his countryman goalkeeper Alisson (£65m), pivotal in winning the Champions League, were recruited at a fraction of what they'd be worth in 2019. Pundits and fans have cited the purchases of the Brazilian pair and Van Dijk as a reason for the club to reach deep into their pockets again but in each of those transfers, they did not spend for spending's sake.   Alisson and Van Dijk were Liverpool's top targets in goal and defense, and the club were prepared to wait before securing both of their signatures rather than moving on.  There was a long-held need to secure an aerially dominant centre-back, comfortable in possession and defending large spaces, as well as a pedigreed goalkeeper and a progressive midfield anchor. All three players signed were Liverpool's premier targets in those respective positions, their prices offset by the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona last January for £142m.   Those ins, and one substantial out, marked a sea change for the club compared to the recent past, when they would be paralysed by big sales. Inadequate replacements were signed when Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez left. These days, they're ready to fortify once their star players are sold. With the Klopp-Edwards-Gordon triumvirate, Liverpool have been measured rather than manic in the market. They didn't get flustered when Southampton accused the club of tapping up Van Dijk in the summer of 2017, which forced them to publicly apologise and withdraw interest. While there was overwhelming pressure for the Reds to move on from the embarrassing saga and secure any other centre-back that summer, they chose instead to patiently work behind the scenes on successfully repairing the relationship with Saints at the highest level in order to make the transfer happen. Liverpool were ridiculed for not bringing in an alternative in that window, but the transfer of Van Dijk last January has arguably been the most significant signing of the Klopp era.   This new-found patience has been applied to other business. When Roma looked to take advantage of Loris Karius' errors in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev just over a year ago, demanding £90m for Alisson that May, they did not blink. Liverpool refused to operate out of desperation, negotiating to seal a total package £25m below the asking price in mid-July.   As Nabil Fekir's £53m move from Lyon crumbled at the final stage during the same window due to a medical that flagged the extent of underlying damage to his right knee, Klopp was not panicked into sourcing another expensive playmaker, despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being expected to miss nearly all of 2018-19. Xherdan Shaqirijoined for £13m from relegated Stoke City to provide squad depth as the manager rotated his front three throughout the season, while the fullbacks were empowered to become the team's key creative source.   Liverpool are undoubtedly an attractive proposition given their continental success, upward trajectory and the feel-good factor around the place, but it is the no-waste approach that allows them to strike if another "transformer" -- the word used at Melwood to describe Van Dijk and Alisson -- is within reach in the future.   Klopp does not feel "the best squad he has worked with" is greatly in need of a blockbuster buy in 2019. Summer business expected to be minimal, largely centred around squad depth and dependent on exits. The club are equipped to act should opportunities arise that blend into their long-term picture, but the manager is convinced there is automatic room for improvement within the existing group.   Fabinho and Naby Keita, who needed months to adapt at Anfield after moving from Monaco and RB Leipzig respectively, don't need a settling-in period again this summer. Oxlade-Chamberlain, restricted to just four matchday squads last season as he recovered from multiple ligament damage, is close to optimum condition and is a major feature of Klopp's future plans. The performances of Gomez and Matip alongside van Dijk have created proper competition at centre-back, where Dejan Lovren has fallen to fourth choice. The Croatian, valued at £25m, wants to be a regular starter, but Liverpool have fielded no concrete offers for him as yet, and he could ultimately decide his best option is to remain and fight his way back up the hierarchy. Simon Mignolet, too, could stay as backup to Alisson if no suitable club emerges for his services.   More can be expected from Shaqiri and Adam Lallana, who suffered an injury-plagued 2018-19, and stayed behind at Melwood after the Champions League final to do extra fitness work. The midfielder has opted for a shorter offseason break in order to return to peak physical state, with Klopp and assistant manager Pep Lijnders informing him his versatility will be an important asset during a packed schedule. Origi, scorer of several defining Liverpool goals last term, like the 96th-minute winner against Everton, a double in the phenomenal Champions League comeback against Barcelona and the decisive strike to seal the Champions League final, will not be sold in this window. The highly rated Rhian Brewster, 19, will step up after striker Daniel Sturridge's release, and there will be no blockage to the pathway of exciting prospects like 17-year-old defender Ki-Jana Hoever.   Liverpool had hoped to sign Lloyd Kellyfrom Bristol City to deputise for Robertson at left-back but were trumped to the £13m deal by Bournemouth, who could guarantee more minutes. There is still a necessity to strengthen there, even though James Milner and Gomez can both fill in. Nathaniel Clyne could cover both fullback positions but is primed to depart permanently after having spent last season on loan at Bournemouth.   With City planning a £120m push for Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri and full-back Joao Cancelo from Juventus after their domestic treble, there has been a demand for Liverpool to match their rival's spending. But the champions of Europe aren't about to copy and paste the approach of others. Liverpool have faith in their processes, and Klopp has complete confidence in his squad.   A month before the Reds departed the Allianz Arena with a 3-1 win over Bayern in March, the Bundesliga giants arrived at Anfield for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with an obstructive approach, aiming to contain the explosiveness of Salah, Firmino and Mane rather than underscore their own strengths. Klopp felt it was the highest compliment they could pay Liverpool, likening it to the respect Man City had shown his side at the same ground in a goalless Premier League draw earlier in the season.   "We have to start looking at ourselves like how other teams see us," he said. "They have a lot of respect for us, but I am not sure we always have the same amount of respect for ourselves."   After Liverpool were crowned Europe's best in Madrid, Klopp told his backroom staff that the team believing in themselves was one of the most fundamental and enjoyable development processes he had overseen during 18 years of management. Now he will hope everyone sees what the opposition and the squad themselves do, regardless of the money that changes hands in this window.
    • I think me and you might be Lovren's biggest fans on here.
    • Add Nigeria to the list. The usual suspects with the usual issues.   Africa Cup of Nations 2019: Nigeria players 'owed bonuses and allowances'
  • Latest Round Up

  • Popular Now

  • Popular Contributors

×