How Premier League champions Liverpool obtained caught into their very own off-side lure

2020/10 05 21:10

Written by Mihir Vasavda

October 6, 2020 three:17:55 am

liverpool, aston villaLiverpool’s Mohamed Salah, gestures after Aston Villa’s Ross Barkley scores his aspect’s fifth purpose through the Premier League match. (AP Picture)

Whereas nobody may have foreseen a 7-2 hammering for Liverpool by the hands of Aston Villa, a bigger pattern is rising of their defence leaking targets by enjoying increased up the sector than normal.

Using a excessive defensive position is a typical technique utilized by a number of high sides in world soccer. This can be a type of play that sees a staff push up when not in possession and shut down the areas for the opposition to assemble a transfer.

It requires a excessive diploma of technical skills as recreation consciousness for the staff with possession to beat this high-press type.

The way it operates

In Liverpool’s case, when a staff wins possession again from them, Jurgen Klopp’s aggressive gegenpress comes into play to get the ball again. Nevertheless, when the opposition staff begins the play, Liverpool’s excessive defensive position begins working.

There are three layers. Within the first, the entrance three, assisted by a midfielder, shut down the opponents and choke their passing traces in order that they will limit the sport to a selected a part of the pitch, construct stress and drive errors.

For Liverpool, one of many influential gamers on this position is Sadio Mane, who’s relentless in his urgent recreation in comparison with the opposite two forwards, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah who’re much less aggressive. Final season, Liverpool forwards pressed their opponents on this a part of the sector greater than another staff within the Premier League.

If the opponents discover their means out of this press, the fullbacks and midfielders come into play, relying on the match state of affairs. Their job is to dam a by means of ball and put stress in a means that the ball is performed both backwards or sideways.

The controversial excessive line comes into focus when the second line of defence is breached. The defenders, in such a state of affairs, are as a rule positioned across the half-way line. The aim is to ensure the ball stays within the opponent’s half and scale back the passing choices by laying an offside lure.

Final season, the Virgil van Dijk-led defence caught their opponents offside 141 occasions, greater than another aspect within the league. If a participant manages to beat this lure as properly, Liverpool are bailed out by goalkeeper Alisson, who generally performs so excessive up the pitch that he can move of as a centre again.

Reward and threat

The plain reward of this technique is you have got the opposition enjoying the best way you need. They’re additionally inclined to creating extra errors due to the incessant stress and because the ball is essentially within the opponent’s half, the possibilities of conceding a purpose mechanically scale back.

However there’s a enormous threat when you don’t have the gamers to tug this technique off efficiently or come upon a staff that figures out methods to bypass the excessive defensive position. Within the Champions League final season, Belgian aspect Genk posed questions for Van Dijk & Co. by always lobbing balls over the midfield to get past the Liverpool back-line.

Leeds, on this season’s opening match, discovered methods to go previous the excessive line and scored three targets and final week, Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette twice snuck previous the Liverpool defence to go one-on-one with Alisson.

On Sunday in opposition to Aston Villa, Liverpool had been with out Mane, who’s contaminated with Covid-19, and an injured Alisson, which meant that on the entrance and on the again, they didn’t have their key males to execute this technique.

Conceding seven targets to Aston Villa is freakish, extra a results of their pig-headedness to not resort to a extra conservative defensive technique, and limiting injury, after happening by three or 4 targets. However the truth that they didn’t ditch their trademark type even in such a state of affairs reveals that regardless of the controversy round it, Liverpool are prone to stick with their philosophy going ahead.

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