Seamus Coleman says Everton set out to stop Andy Robertson at Anfield on Saturday. The strategy helped the Toffees defeat Liverpool 2-0.
Everton set out with a plan on Saturday. Unfortunately, they pulled it off to perfection.
Their captain, Seamus Coleman, explained it after the game – including the strategy to stop Andy Robertson.
“For me, personally, I had to follow Andy Robertson,” he told Sky Sports. “I think the last time I had a job like that was at Stamford Bridge following Ashley Cole about the pitch.
“He’s a great player and I tried to stay with him as much as I could.”
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This isn’t the first time a team has set out to stop Robertson. It’s a strategy Jose Mourinho turns to, much as he did last season.
So that’s two legendary coaches who went with that plan – Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti. Unfortunately, it works.
Robertson offers so much to Liverpool that nullifying him hurts the entire side. If he’s not there as an outlet, Sadio Mane needs to drift wide or the team is entirely too narrow.
That’s before you get to Robertson’s own output with the ball. He’s one of the most creative players in the side on top of being so consistent.
Matching his running and energy is a strategy that really works, then. It did on Saturday and we’ll likely see it again.
Of course, this isn’t why Liverpool lost. The Reds had the ball in more than enough good areas to make something happen – they just didn’t.
The risk teams take in man-marking is that it leaves gaps for others. Everton decided to take a chance on no one taking advantage of that and it paid off.
That was the real problem on Saturday. For all of Everton’s strategy, Liverpool would have won that game if one or two more had stood up to make a difference.