Liverpool may need to make painful but necessary change after FA Cup exit to Manchester United
Liverpool were dumped out of the competition by Manchester United yesterday after their 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford in the fourth round. There were more negatives than positives for the German manager. The nature of the defeat, against the club by which Anfield judges itself, was painful. Klopp has four days to rebuild the confidence of a squad that has only won once in the past seven games – and that was against a coronavirus-affected Aston Villa side comprised of mostly teenagers. On Thursday they travel to White Hart Lane to face Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur. The scent of decay is in the air and the Portuguese is enlivened by that type of odour in his nostrils. Mourinho will aim to expose every weakness in the defending champions.
There were upsides at Old Trafford. Mohamed Salah scored twice and Roberto Firmino gave indications that he is regaining his form. The Brazilian’s pass for Salah’s opening goal was exquisite. Firmino’s craftiness is crucial to the effectiveness of the front three and his hustle disconcerts the opposition when they are in possession. The 29-year-old never stopped being busy off the ball – which is enough reason alone to justify his inclusion in the side – but his link play floundered. Against United, Firmino was somewhere near to his best.
Salah’s dip was less pronounced and he has always looked sharp. Many of his missed opportunities were of the sort that could be attributed to fine margins. The way he finished yesterday suggested the balance has swung back the Egyptian’s way……read more