A star-studded Manchester United team turning to long balls is compliment to how well we defended in Sunday’s 1-1 draw.
Different styles of play work for different teams and directing lofted balls to our penalty area was the only way Jose Mourinho’s men were going to get something from the game.
In all fairness to them, it worked in the end. Not without them getting away with a blatant offside in the process, however. For this frustrating reason, it can be said that we stood up to the physical challenge they posed late on in the game.
In his column for the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool legend John Aldridge said: “I tell you what made me laugh at Old Trafford. A side like United, having spent so much money, throwing on Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini and turning into Wimbledon, trying to win flick ons.”
“It just shows you the lack of class, it really does.”
“Look, even at Liverpool, you’ve seen the manager throw on a centre back up front with five minutes to go, it’s something you have to do.”
“But when you’re paying £90million on this player, £30million on that player, and you end up lashing on a throwback up front to get you a point – it says it all, really.”
“Jose Mourinho reckons his side dominated the second half. What’s all that about? It’s all about him, isn’t it? He left his dugout before the half time whistle because he wants the attention.”
Summed up perfectly.
We were the better side at the weekend. Our game plan was clearer, it was executed well and was understood by the entire team. An unusual lack of conviction in front of goal was all that stopped us from dominating the game and collecting a deserved three points.
Mourinho is so often tipped as a tactical genius yet Sunday’s game saw Klopp prove he was just as capable of preparing with such focus and discipline and orchestrating a specific approach to the game.