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After the final whistle against Brighton, there was renewed frustration and smoke over VAR from Liverpool fans. Three more VAR decisions went against Liverpool, with two goals scored for the Reds and a late penalty decision in favor of Brighton during these VAR decisions are repeatedly processed and re-analyzed, it has to be addressed how poor Liverpool was in the attacking game for the second time in a row

Against Brighton, Liverpool managed just six shots, only two of which ended on goal. With the top three from Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and the ardent Diogo Jota, those stats are criminal against a Brighton team who scored 15 goals

To highlight the problems with Liverpool’s attack against Brighton, let’s compare the game against the Seagulls to Liverpool’s game against Leicester City just six days earlier.The overall configuration for both games was similar enough to allow a good comparison of the changes

Let’s first look at where the game was played. Against Leicester City, Liverpool spent a lot of time in the attacking third, recording almost 24% of all touches (173 out of 721) in the attacking zone and 37 of those touches in the Leicester City box (stats via fbref) com) The team heat map below from whoscoredcom shows how much time Liverpool players have spent in and around the box

Against Brighton, Liverpool had a similar percentage of touches in the attacking third (165 out of 663) but only 12 touches in the Brighton box (stats via fbref) com) In fact, there was hardly any Liverpool on whoscoredcom’s heat map – Players in the central area of ​​the box or even outside the box in central areas against Brighton

What has changed between these two games? While the attacking players had a similar number of touches, their touches changed significantly. Against Leicester City, attacking players were much more involved in the central area around the top of the box, as shown below

Brighton was however able to leave the attacking Liverpool players far behind Brighton won almost all the long balls that came into the central areas and blocked Liverpool in large areas if Liverpool threatened central because Liverpool were unable to get the ball Getting into dangerous areas severely limited the shots they could fire

Why couldn’t Liverpool get the ball into dangerous areas? For one, Liverpool’s long pass against Brighton was significantly worse, finishing just over 60% after completing over 77% of the long passes against Leicester City.These long passes are usually important for Liverpool to move up the field and the ball in the attacking We all have visions of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long switches and Virgil van Dijk’s driven diagonal balls to Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.While most other Liverpool players don’t have the same skills, players like Joel Matip, Fabinho and James Milner could one join significant crowd against Leicester City

The other part of the equation is that Liverpool midfield are able to move up aggressively to give attackers who receive those long passes the opportunity to regain possession in the opposing half To keep the ball in attacking positions and keep position pressure on Against Leicester City, Liverpool deployed a relatively fresh Gini Wijnaldum as the holding midfielder with Curtis Jones and Naby Keita, with those three players able to set up a business and the middle one Control thirds of the field, retain possession and investigate the defenses of Leicester City to make way for the attacking players

Against Brighton, Liverpool deployed a visibly exhausted Wijnaldum and James Milner, who both played their third game in six days, along with a lost Takumi Minamino there was a bigger gap between midfield and attack in transition, what resulted in less support for the attacking players and fewer opportunities to regain the ball when Liverpool players lost the ball in the attacking third

At the end of the day, Liverpool were simply unable to keep the ball in the attacking third as they normally do, and as a result, were unable to recycle possession to allow attackers to get into dangerous positions The VAR decisions were absolutely frustrating, but unfortunately at the level of what we expected this season. Ultimately, Liverpool managed to stay at the top of the table despite the poor offensive performance and lose points to Brighton

With only three healthy senior midfielders currently, we may see more of that until some new legs can be introduced into midfield, of course, adding Trent Alexander-Arnold when he is fit should be a boon in that longtime division bring let’s hope Liverpool can navigate these tight fixtures and get some body back

Brighton – Liverpool, Liverpool

World news – FI – Blame for Liverpool’s lack of offensive – not VAR – for draw with Brighton

Source: https://liverpooloffside.sbnation.com/liverpool-fc-tactics-longform/2020/11/30/21725332/blame-liverpool-lack-of-offense-not-var-draw-vs-brighton-epl-2020-tired-midfield-not-enough-shots