October 2, 2022

His trademark of Fulham The last run in the Premier League back in the 2020-21 season was a defensive patchwork that meant they couldn’t attack and not concede goals in the same game. They are now back under Marco Silva and Fulham look to show those issues no longer remain as they opened their campaign with a 2-2 draw with Liverpool. A support from Aleksandar Mitrovic — who, after 90 minutes, is on course to surpass his 43 League goals — was canceled out by goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, but Jurgen Klopp will have to reconsider after the game. Luis Diaz and Jordan Henderson hit the post, so on another day, things could have gone differently, but when Fulham are pushing Liverpool, it’s not a good performance for a team expected to be in the title race.

It’s definitely too early to hit the panic button. An away trip to a newly promoted side is no easy task, but the match was there for the taking if Liverpool were to go up a point. Right out of the gate, Andreas Pereira was pressing high up the pitch giving Liverpool a chance when he tried to build from the back, while João Palhinha was strong at the base of midfield winning three tackles and making an interception.

With Shane DuffyManor Solomon, Byrd Lenoand Kevin Babu all on the bench to start the match, it could be fascinating to see what Fulham’s recruitment looks like. The opener came from Kenny Tete who flicked a good cross into the box and Mitrovic just pounced Trent Alexander-Arnold.

It’s a goal that showed a lack of effort not usually seen in a Liverpool team. Klopp said that his team is not ready for the season, but also that they are overworked. Having already played Strasbourg after winning the community shield, Liverpool will face another unknown side before their clash with Crystal Palace. Compressed fixtures are already piling up as Diogo JotaIbrahima Konaté, and now Thiago is on the sidelines.

Thiago left the match in the 51st minute after feeling something in his leg and it was a double substitution by Klopp that changed the tempo of the game. Before the break it was Fulham who came close to scoring, as Neeskens Kebano hit the post, but his introduction Harvey Elliott and Darwin Nunez changed the way Liverpool approached things.

Driving the line, Roberto Firmino He didn’t create a chance or a shot as Fulham flagged him offside. With Yota down, if Klopp wants to take his time with Nunez, the formation may need to change a bit to get things through Salah. Nunez only had 15 touches in the match after coming on, but he created two chances, scored and assisted on a goal while hitting the target with three shots. A shark in the water, Nunez is such a different presence to Firmino up top and helps replace the loss of Sadio Mane.

Nunez’s goal was a good example of what he brings to this Liverpool team, as it is the result of a direct forward, deep into the opposition area, the kind that Firmino rarely does. Despite his problems at the defensive end of the pitch, where he is not nearly the pressing presence that Firmino can be at his best, his performance is why Klopp needn’t worry too much about this result. However, a possible 4-2-3-1 could be Liverpool’s best approach in games like this. Nunez ahead of Firmino can help cover the pressing issues, giving Diaz another focal point in attack as things are very predictable when Salah is the only target teams have to worry about.

This change may be difficult to make if Thiago misses significant time. Elliott looked at home in midfield when he came on, but he is an attacking midfielder whose best moments come from getting in front of midfield in the box. He would be most comfortable on the right side of a midfield three in Liverpool’s typical 4-3-3 formation. So while there isn’t much for Klopp to worry about, there are still some complications to learn when trying to get all the players he needs on the pitch at the same time.

Days like this won’t happen often for the Reds, but when a point was the difference in the title last season, they need to be proactive, not reactive. For Silva, the biggest issues from the match will be resolved with Shane Duffy bringing his experience to the defense making it mostly a positive. They certainly didn’t believe in this point as one of the 40 they would need to survive the season. The matches will only get more difficult for Liverpool from here on out, so it will be up to Klopp to adapt, but based on history so far, he will be able to do just that.

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