First 3 points at Anfield this season. So here’s how the Reds managed to take all 3 points against the Royals yesterday afternoon.
In all honesty, Liverpool played with more of a conventional 2 men up front type of formation. Raheem Sterling played a more central role to one that he was more accustomed to – he was almost given a free role, drifting all the way to the right wing to support Suso at times, so that was interesting.
Perhaps what might work would be Sterling as an out-and-out striker with Luis Suarez supporting him on the left, Sterling being deployed in a ‘False 9 position’. He has the pace and the technique to do so, so it might be worth giving it a go.
If Liverpool are going to make the most out of their men out wide – this being Sterling, Suso and sometimes Johnson – then they are going to need more runs into the box from the midfielders. The reason is quite simply because whilst the Reds have sometimes put in wonderful balls into the penalty box, there hasn’t been anyone in there to tuck those chances away.
Sahin’s running into the box has already been rewarded on numerous occasions this season, and he was unlucky on a few occasions not to add one more to his tally. A young and talented midfielder, and I would like to see him bursting into the box more often. Suso doesn’t go in because he doesn’t have the physique (i.e. strength), whilst Suarez normally drifts off into a midfield area before rushing back into the penalty box when Liverpool have the oppourtunity, meaning that the Reds sometimes don’t have players in the box.
At least Liverpool are being more assured with the ball. Brad Jones was confident on the ball, there weren’t any clear cut errors (i.e. errors that led to goal chances for Reading), and in general, I don’t even have a man-of-the-match for this game, as it was more about the team performance rather than individual brilliance that won Liverpool FC the game.
Joe Allen was his economical self, spreading the ball out and drawing defenders in before making the pass and leaving space for his teammates. Steven Gerrard played some superb first time balls yesterday afternoon, whilst Suso kept the ball out on the right flank as well.
Loved the football we were playing, and it is a signal for good things to come in the coming weeks!