Tuesday, March 28, 2023

3 Critical Reasons Liverpool Won Vs Swansea City | The Can Opener, Reinvented No. 8…

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism.2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

Liverpool secured an unlikely, uncharacteristic 1-2 win at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium. Here is T4O duly delivering three critical reasons, that helped the Merseyside giants along the way.

#1 Working The Angles

The consensus was unanimous. This wasn’t the Liverpool side that go around in every which way, like headless chickens with no pattern in their play when they fall behind away from home. Their scattergun approach has seldom worked in their favour, and more often than not, resigned them to a deplorable performance, symptomatic of a disjointed attacking unit, with little idea of how to use the ball.

Now, we are not saying they have completely gotten rid of that habit. Old habits do die hard, the Burnley defeat being a case in point. Against Swansea though, the team has shown enough evidence that they have exorcised their demons.

The Liverpool team that came out in the second half had an aura of certainty about them, a sense of knowing, that if they put their head down and kept working the angles, that a goal would come. And it did. The entire team applied themselves with and without the ball, like a closely knit unit in both defence and attack. If Liverpool can regularly tap into this sense of calm, they may one of those teams that don’t know when they are defeated.

#2 Phil Coutinho The Number 8?


At Inter Milan, under Rafa Benitez, he was taught the importance of work ethic without the ball.  It certainly won’t be the first time Phil Coutinho was asked to play a deeper midfield role of a number 8, and it certainly won’t be the last. Curiously, I remember two matches in particular, where he relished that responsibility, and both of them were against Everton. His vehement will of constant striving to get closer to the fit in perfectly with what Juergen Klopp wanted vs Swansea in the second half. More often Phil was on the ball, more passes he strung together, the more clarity did Liverpool’s attacking vision. Almost always on the front, with or without the ball at his feet, he was one of Liverpool’s hardest runners, taking up the Lallana-shaped hole in the midfield.

His influence would have not gone unnoticed by Herr Juergen.

#3 Bob Firmino Is Liverpool’s Can Opener

Bob Firmino offers a multitude of disguises. Most times he’s a ninja, sometimes Luke Skywalker in his spacecraft, looking for compromise in structural integrity, other times he has the verve of an ample bosomed girl at a carnival in Rio, and vs Swansea, he was Liverpool’s can opener.

He prodded and he probed, until he finally stuck it in. His header has sublimely timed in technique and the overall narrative in the match, while his penalty secured the win. In many ways, he’s Juergen Klopp’s most surreptitious talent in the forward line.

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