Here was Liverpool’s first truly Klopp-esque performance. Saturday evening’s 4-1 Etihad rout of Manchester City could easily have been even more emphatic, as the German’s charges swamped their hosts with a breathtaking display of relentless pressing and rapier-like counter-attacking. Continue reading
Arsenal’s 2-0 victory at home to Bayern Munich a fortnight ago was built on the foundation of a solid defence, married to a relentless counter-attacking determination to prevail upon the German champions’ poor defensive transitions. Continue reading
Few post-mortems of Chelsea’s sixth league defeat of the season will be as kind to José Mourinho’s side as this one. Let’s get that out of the way from the off. Continue reading
A lot has been written about Louis Van Gaal’s obsession with control. Since his Ajax days, the Dutch coach has espoused a brand of football that seeks to minimise risk – the risk of losing the ball. His is a brand of football where dominating possession is an end in itself, not merely the means to an end. Continue reading
Rodgers springs a surprise
The Liverpool manager’s decision to field his side in an usual 3-4-2-1 shape surprised all, not least Newcastle boss Alan Pardew. In his pre-match interview, Pardew alleged that the key to beating Liverpool was “putting pressure on them in key areas”, a statement that could be interpreted as intent to attempt to control the game. Pardew presumably expected Liverpool to persist with the 4-3-3 that they fielded against Hull, allowing his side’s 4-2-3-1 to man-mark in midfield, putting pressure on Gerrard and choking Liverpool’s attempts to pass out from the back – a strategy that has already worked wonders for a number of sides this season. Continue reading
The pre-season honeymoon period is over. In his first meaningful game in charge, Louis Van Gaal’s threadbare side fell to the club’s first opening day defeat at Old Trafford in Premier League history. Continue reading
Manchester United inflicted a second consecutive 4-1 defeat on Aston Villa to relieve some of the pressure on beleaguered manager David Moyes.