Gary Neville loved a tactical tweak from Jurgen Klopp against Manchester City on Saturday. Liverpool drew the game 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Jurgen Klopp tried something different against Manchester City and Gary Neville was a fan.
The Liverpool boss decided to play all four of his start forward – Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.
The result was a direct Liverpool, who wanted to get the ball to their front four and attack City at the Etihad.
“In that first 25 minutes it was exhilarating, the speed of play, the tempo, the passes into the front players, it was a throwback, and a little bit of throwback to the earlier Klopp days, a bit more frantic,” Neville told the Sky Sports Football Podcast.
“Now it’s a lot more measured, more rounded, but it caught City out. The idea of playing Jota was like a front four, there was no subtlety to it, they were going for it.
“It really was a brilliant display and wonderful to watch, and it just really caught City out, and it took half an hour for City to weather that storm, get into the game and realise what’s happening here.”
What RTK has to say
It was certainly a ‘throwback’ to Klopp’s first game against City. Back in November 2015, Liverpool travelled there and scored four in an attacking display.
They pressed, ran, and looked direct whenever they had the ball, trying to out-score the opposition more than control them.
And perhaps that’s a sign of things to come this year. Klopp is short on centre-halves, after all, and the attack is undoubtedly the strong-suit.
It could lead to a more open, all-out-attack strategy, away from the more controlled approach last year.
That was obviously a very successful strategy, seeing as the Reds won the title. But it really isn’t possible this year. Not with Virgil van Dijk gone and players struggling with injuries.
Neville has Liverpool down as ‘exhilarating’ when they play like this. He can look forward to seeing a lot more of it, then.