Liverpool lined up in a 4-2-3-1, not unfamiliar this season. However the way they lined up their personnel was unfamiliar. Stewart Downing was asked to fill in just behind Suarez while Gerrard was shuttled out to the right attacking slot. All though as the game wore on he tended to drift all across the front zone. Kuyt was also asked to perform an unfamiliar role to operate on the left tucked in forward position, however, he also roamed across the park.
If you take a look at the average positions of the front players you will see they all pretty much spent most of their time in the centre. It’s worth noting that at half-time Charlie Adam was replaced by Henderson which influenced Gerrard’s overall average position as he was asked to move back into a more central midfield role to take up where Adam had left off. Spearing (no. 20) operated as the holding defensive midfielder and it should have been his job to protect the zone in front of the back four. Jaime Carragher started the game at centre back, however, with Martin Kelly getting injured and being substituted in the 34th minute Carragher was moved over to the right back position where he has deputized before. With Coates coming on for Kelly, Coates then took up his normal place at centre back.
The attacking part of the formation seemed to work with the front three all combining well and inter-changing positions and passes with regularity. Liverpool seemed to have about 400 corners in the first 20 minutes. Liverpool also had 19 shots in the game, our average before the game was 16.9 per game. And we created 14 chances, which preceding this game our average was 12.5 chances created per game. Our final third passing accuracy was 73.21% and we have only bettered that in 4 other games this season. Preceding the game we averaged 397 accurate passes per game – again we bettered that against QPR completing a total of 446 passes. So all in all the stats show we performed well in an attacking sense, compared to our averages in our other games this season. So how did we lose the game?
Next Page: Tactical analysis on the next page….