16 July 2014

Liverpool 1-2 Brøndby

Nørgaard 23'
Peterson 48'
Hasani 90+1'

Some quick notes, because yes it's preseason and yes it's the first preseason match and yes Liverpool played a lot of kids but Liverpool are back. I can't help myself. Feels like I've got to write something.

• A team playing its fourth preseason match at home with a mostly full-strength XI looks better than, and beats, a team with a lot of reserves and kids playing its first preseason match. Color me stunned.

• That said, both Liverpool goals conceded were regrettable. The first, featuring failed clearances by Suso and substitute Kevin Stewart, was yet another preventable goal from a Liverpool mistake. I don't care if it's preseason; that's a trend that's got to stop. But it didn't help that Liverpool were forced into a change less than a minute before, with Stewart coming on for the injured Ilori. The second came with tired players wanting to go home, but Hasani – fresher than anyone else, on as a late substitute – ran around and past four Liverpool defenders while I screamed "TACKLE HIM, YOU FLAT-FOOTED NINCOMPOOPS" at the television. I'm mainly looking at you, Martin.

• Liverpool played 4-3-3 in both halves, despite a full XI of changes during the interval. That's supposedly Rodgers' preferred formation, and you can probably expect that it'll be Liverpool's regular formation now that the team's not built around getting both Suarez and Sturridge in the same side.

• Coutinho was, by far, the best player in the first half (and I'm still baffled that he didn't get in Brazil's World Cup squad). Jordon Ibe was the most impressive in the second half, faster than a speeding bullet, responsible for Liverpool's goal, but twice shooting tamely at Brøndby's goalkeeper when he should have scored including when Liverpool had a two-on-one in the 80th minute. Otherwise, the senior players mostly looked like senior players and the untested kids looked like kids.

• Liverpool struggled to create chances in the first half; aside from three quick saves on Borini, Smith, and Coutinho in the 29th, everything came from outside the box and missed the target. Liverpool, aside from the goal, struggled to convert in the second: Ibe had two shots saved, Peterson one. The side, mainly because of personnel – read: Ibe's pace – focused on the counter-attack in the second half, while Coutinho, Suso, and Lucas dominated possession without much penetration in the first half. This will surprise no one after last season, but Liverpool looked more dangerous on the counter-attack.

• Liverpool's goal was 100% because of Jordon Ibe's pace: a superb turn at midfield, then tearing past two defenders to hit the byline before cutting back to Peterson for a tap-in. Bottom-half PL clubs and top-half Championship clubs should be lining up to taking him on loan next season. He needs it, and they need him.


Tom said...

Yay LFC is back and so is Nate :) thank you again for sharing you're thoughts on all the games :)

Vicky Agastya said...

Good to your LFC articles again. Even if they are just on preseason matches.
Can you focus on how the young ones, particularly those who are close to breaking into the first team, are performing? And whether their performances will/could place them into Rodger's first team plans??