Sunday’s game had two of the top four battle it out, Liverpool and West Ham.
The game was very back and forth with either team looking like they could take home a win. However with Liverpool being a top side for many years and West Ham just being in a great run of form the game should have ended quite the opposite.
Sure the game wasn’t without his critics with the referee making some absurd decisions to some, but the real issue is how Liverpool threw away these three points.
All the stats in this match were in Liverpools favour with the Merseyside team having 70% possession, 16 shots and a 86% pass accuracy.
The real issue with this game however is the team off set pieces, especially corners. In the 4th minute West Ham scored directly off a corner giving them the lead.
Though it is still up in the air if Allison, the Liverpool goalkeeper, was fouled during the play, but with the referee not calling it we have to look at the other issues from the piece of play. The corner taker puts the ball in the mixer with 4 Liverpool players surrounding one West Ham player, however none of them mark the player and or jump for the ball leaving Allison to deal with the ball himself.
But with the amount of players infant of him impairing his vision he’s never going to catch it. However with this goal being controversial, I’ll talk about the corner Liverpool conceded for Zouma’s goal. This corner there is 6 players in the 5 yard box to mark 3 of West Ham’s.
Kurt Zouma’s movement for this goal is fantastic to be honest however he runs right infant of Trent Alexander-Arnold who doesn’t even move when the ball comes towards him. Furthermore Sadio Mane is also marking Zouma but doesn’t even move once he sees he is at the back post.
Highlighting these points shows the key issue off of corners being the lack of communication between defenders and lack of compassion when getting the ball out of the box.
The other major issues in the game is Liverpool’s lack of defending counter attacks and lack of attacking prowess. With Klopp playing a formation with overlapping full backs it means the team is exposed at the wings after the attack.
Though he may use Fabinho or Henderson to track back and play as a 3rd centre back sometimes in this match the opposite happens. Watching the Pablo Fornals goal it comes off a Liverpool attack, meaning the team only has Van Dijk and Matip as the only two players in the defensive half.
This forces Allison off the goal line making it easier for Fornals to get a shot past him. A way to fix this would be having only one of the wing backs come up at a time meaning there is 3 all out defenders still on the defensive line and players like Fabinho can slot into the wing back slot when defending counter attacks.
Finally the lack of attacking prowess in this game gave Liverpool the loss from the start.
Liverpool’s issue is that their front three are very goal hungry. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane as known for stealing shots off players in the past leading to less formed and weaker attacks. Furthermore the lack of Roberto Firmino and Thiago Alacantara gave Liverpool no creativity in the front 3 or midfield of the team.
Though Diogo Jota is seen by most Liverpool fans as the better centre forward he does lack real quality creativity. With the squad having 16 shots but only 5 on target and 2 goals it shows the conversation rate is the problem.
With a 0.31 shot on target rate and at 0.13 goal conversion rate it shows the attack were not on form this game.
Though we cannot take much away from this brilliant performance from West Ham, Liverpool’s was sub-par and we expect better from the side.