Trent Alexander-Arnold says a half-time message from Jurgen Klopp was the difference for the Reds this evening against Arsenal as goals from Joel Matip and Mo Salah (2) were enough to see them over the line.
The Gunners set up with a diamond system, playing much more narrowly than the Reds anticipated, which gifted Alexander-Arnold and his opposite full-back Andy Robertson a lot of space in wide areas.
That formed part of the half-time message as Klopp identified that space, and showed the team using a video on a big screen inside the changing room exactly how to change their approach, as Alexander-Arnold explained.
Via This Is Anfield, the right-back said: “We prepared for them to go with another system. They were really narrow and it allowed me and Robbo a lot of space and freedom, and [we] were allowed to cross the ball as much as possible.
“The gaffer showed us a bit of [footage] at half-time and we could stretch them, with Mo, Bobby and Sadio, and get it into feet.
“[Against] other teams we try to create the yard and cross it from in front. The gaffer said to us at half-time, if we get a runner down we can get the ball down the outside.
“[For Salah’s first], Hendo takes the ball out the way and I’m able to play it into Bobby and we got the pen. That was the idea, to drag a centre-half out and not allow them to stay in and head the ball away.”
The ability to spot things and make changes swiftly mid-game is a great asset for the Reds to have, both on the part of the manager, who can convery the message, and the players, who can take it on board.
This kind of thing happens every single game, but today it was especially effective. The Reds are now the only side in the top flight still with a 100% record after three games.