Rise of the Liverpool from the ashes – Part IV

Rise of the Liverpool from the ashes – Part IV

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11 Jan 2022
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Nick
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Season-17/18 began to correct the foundation, buying new players. Despite the fact that Klopp called the transfer market a haven for weak managers, it was clear to everyone at the club that the current squad did not fully satisfy Jurgen’s playing requirements.

 

Salah & Robertson to the Champs!

Liverpool were joined by Salah, Robertson and Oxlade-Chamberlain, Edwards was close to signing van Dijk in the same summer of 2017, but after a while it turned out that the club began to actively negotiate with the Dutchman even before sending a formal offer to ” Southampton”. Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp had to publicly apologize and postpone the transfer, but in the next transfer window, Virgil moved to Merseyside, Liverpool’s progress in defense after his arrival was noted by everyone.

The whole season-17/18 can be described as a huge progress in pressing, namely in gegen-pressing. The essence of this principle is to return it within the next 6 seconds after losing the ball, that is, the pressure must be immediate and aggressive in order to make the opponent lose the ball.

 

Pressing scheme was working wonders

Klopp’s pressing scheme always started with the team preparing themselves for a 4-3-3 formation. Salah and Mane blocked the passing lines from the central defenders to the wingers with diagonal jerks, Firmino played on the CB with the ball, and the midfield blocked the opponent’s remaining options in the center of the field.

Thus, Liverpool blocked almost all options for the development of the opponent’s attack, forcing him to either kick the ball or go forward on dribbling, which, of course, ended unsuccessfully in most cases. The main associations with that season: reactive counterattacks and intense pressure. Just a couple of minutes of the match with Guardiola on January 14, 2018 can characterize the entire season.

Liverpool, having taken the ball in their own half of the field, runs away to counterattack: City were ready for this, Guardiola was waiting for such counterattacks, so he left as many players as possible behind, but even the best defense of that season could not stop Liverpool’s counterattacks. Oxlade-Chamberlain picks up speed, sees a passing lane and cuts the pass to Firmino accurately.

 

Rise to Champions League and Premier League champions!

In the league, Liverpool set a points record for a second-place team with 97 points. It was not possible to return the long-awaited title of the Premier League, but the Champions League final with Tottenham remained. Liverpool seized on this opportunity with all their might. At the initiative of Pep Leinders, the club managed to agree to hold a closed friendly match with the Benfica double.

Almost everyone was sure that the only task of this meeting was to maintain physical fitness (the pause between the end of the Premier League and the Champions League final was 21 days). The choice of opponent was also not initially surprising. The Spanish La Liga teams were already on vacation, the Segunda teams were still finishing the season – they called in a frail opponent from neighboring Portugal. Everything turned out to be much more difficult. Jurgen, together with Pep, have long been looking for an opponent who is as close as possible to Tottenham in terms of style. The goal is to rehearse tactics for the final.

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