Jamie Carragher has compared Liverpool to the Red Arrows and highlighed a number of key performances while analysing their victory against Manchester City, as per Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
Jurgen Klopp’s side stunned Manuel Pellegrini’s men at the Etihad on the weekend, as they ran into a three-goal lead inside the first 32 minutes.
While Sergio Aguero pulled one back, Martin Skrtel thumped another past Joe Hart late on to seal an emphatic victory for the Merseyside outfit
Carragher picked up on what Liverpool did so well against City, highlighting the role of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Lucas Leiva.
The former centre-back said: “Well I mean the first 30/35 mins was as good as anything I can remember not from Jurgen Klopp but a Liverpool team in the Premier League, especially going away to a big team; Man City – one of the top sides.
“I want to look at the front three to start with, who were scintillating all day, but mainly about the positions they took up and the reason Klopp may have gone with this [setup].
“So you had Coutinho, Firmino and Lallana very narrow as a front three. [Klopp] played that way at Chelsea and Spurs, the two of them behind the frontman, but this was slightly different; very narrow.
“The two reasons for that, I think, [were] to stop Man City, when in possession, playing balls into midfield and force them wide, but also when you’re that narrow you can make penetrating runs from there.
“It gives you a great chance because City’s centre-backs like to step out and be aggressive. We know what City are like when they’re on the edge of the box; they don’t go back with runners; they always hold that line.
“Because [Liverpool’s front three] are so narrow they are in positions to make runs. For Liverpool supporters in their 40s or 50s, [Firmino’s] run is Ian Rush running on to a Kenny Dalglish or Jan Mølby pass. A straight pass [from Coutinho] to a diagonal run.
“It was like the Red Arrows watching Liverpool those runs going through people all the time. City don’t go back with runners they hold that line.
“The work of Klopp in terms of being organised and pressing I think that was the first time we’ve seen the work of him offensively and what he can do and the damage he can cause to teams with the squad.”
Liverpool were rampant going forward with the likes of Coutinho, Firmino and Adam Lallana orchestrating play, but one man who has been in fine form is Lucas.
The 28-year-old came close to leaving Anfield in the summer under Brendan Rodgers, but he has now won 41 tackles in the Premier League this season – the joint-highest in the division with Stoke City’s Erik Pieters.
The Brazilian delivered another solid display in the middle of the park on the weekend and managed to nullify the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Aguero – at times.
Carragher was particularly impressed with his former team-mate, but admits some sides will look to outwit the defensive midfielder by playing around him.
The Sky Sports pundit added: “Looking at one player in that system in terms of Lucas. He’s a holding midfield player and a normal holding midfield player’s first reaction when losing the ball will be looking over his shoulder for the No.10.
“With Jurgen Klopp, it seems that if you can close someone down, don’t worry what’s behind you, you go. It’s a risky strategy.
“Remember, Lucas wasn’t in the 18 for Liverpool at the start. Klopp coming in may have improved his stats and do things slightly different to a normal holding midfield player.
“But, I think it is something opposition’s team may be looking at and thinking if we play quick we could expose that. But, the way Liverpool are pressing teams are going to have to work really hard.”
Liverpool face Bordeaux in the Europa League this Thursday and while Lucas may not usually be involved in the competition, the midfielder is suspended for the Premier League game with Swansea City on Sunday.
That means Klopp may think he can start Lucas against the Ligue 1 outfit in midweek with there no risk of him exerting himself too much.
Video originally found on fullmatchandshows.com