Trent Alexander-Arnold had a particularly notable game against Brentford. The 22-year-old was completely exposed as the hosts looked for goals.
Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t register any assists against Brentford, nor did he keep a clean sheet. You can even see him struggle for the last two goals.
But we still don’t think you can point fingers at him for what was a very frustrating draw.
With the ball, Alexander-Arnold had 14 more touches than anyone else on the pitch and created one chance during the game. Without the ball, he was actually quite stellar.
The Scouser won four tackles in the game – a game-high. And he didn’t do it through sheer number, either, as Alexander-Arnold had a 100% success rate with his tackling. Brentford didn’t dribble past him once.
He even made three interceptions, too, which again no one bettered on the pitch and no one in yellow matched. Alexander-Arnold was defensively reliable on Saturday.
But we think he was let down by his teammates.
Alexander-Arnold vs Brentford
Brentford’s last two goals both looked quite similar. They lofted a high ball to the back post and created an aerial overload against Alexander-Arnold.
Both times, the right-back had to compete with three attackers on his own and without help. Both times, Brentford scored from the knockdown.
Why was this allowed to happen? Alexander-Arnold is hardly known for his power in the air as it is, let alone when he’s competing against three opponents. He didn’t have a chance.
Liverpool’s defence didn’t adapt. No midfielder dropped in to help, nor did Joel Matip come across to challenge in the air.
We find it hard to believe that this is just a glaring weakness in the team that no one else has ever spotted before. Instead, we think it’s a sign that Liverpool’s defence just wasn’t at it today.
Matip won under half of his aerial challenges, for instance, and Virgil van Dijk didn’t do much better.
Liverpool’s system relies on being able to cover their incredibly attacking full-backs but the system failed miserably in West London. With two crunch games against Porto and Manchester City coming up, we better hope they fix it fast.