'Liverpool do it an awful lot': Carragher dumbstruck by Klopp's tactic that he can't understand
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Jamie Carragher questions Liverpool's continued use of a high defensive line

Liverpool were torn apart by one of the best counter-attacking sides in the Premier League and Jamie Carragher has questioned Liverpool’s continued use of a high defensive line.

The build-up for Pablo Fornals’ goal – West Ham’s second – was frustrating and very easily avoidable. But Liverpool lacked character and the bravery to bring him down in midfield.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho and Robertson let Jarrod Bowen surge through the midfield. However, all three failed to get close to him and the easiest way to avoid that goal was to commit a professional foul and level him.

The main issue with that goal was that, once Bowen had evaded three Reds in the middle of the park, Joel Matip was the only player between the West Ham winger, Pablo Fornals and the goal.

When the Cameroonian dived in and the ball was played around him, the goalscorer, Fornals, was in acres of space and simply had to put the ball past Alisson, who admittedly should have done better.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Carragher said: “That is something Liverpool have done for a while and, me being in that position, I can’t quite get my head around it. But then you look at the defensive record and it’s fantastic.

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“I just think when you’re in those positions, I don’t know what you gain by holding the high line.

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“Yes, Matip has gone towards the ball but van Dijk holds a line. There’s only two things that can happen there: either catch them offside or they run through at goal,” continued Carragher.

“For me, that’s not a fair fight in some ways. I’m thinking I’d rather run back. What do we gain out of an offside? Nothing.

“We just get the ball 60 yards from goal or them running through at our goalkeeper.

“Liverpool do it an awful lot and the opposition will run through at the goalkeeper at least once a game.”

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

I am not surprised to hear this take from Carragher – one of the slowest to ever play at centre-back for Liverpool. The main reason Jurgen Klopp employs a high line is to keep opposition sides penned in inside their own half and it works 90% of the time.

The other 10% requires Matip and Virgil van Dijk to defend one-on-one and they are some of the best at it. But, on this rare occasion, the former makes a bad decision to dive in and allow Bowen to split the defence.

Both Matip and van Dijk have the pace to defend against balls over the top. Yet they were exposed by spineless defending in the middle of the park by Fabinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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