Liverpool lost 1-0 vs Leicester City on Tuesday evening with a disappointing display. Jurgen Klopp looked to make a fix in the game that highlighted a problem.
Liverpool didn’t play well vs Leicester City. It was one of their worst performances of the season, in fact – possibly their worst. The Reds did still manage to create enough chances to win the game but their usual level of dominance wasn’t there.
Leicester just weren’t under as much pressure as Liverpool would have liked. You can blame the passing for that, mainly, as the team seriously missed Thiago.
Without him in the XI, Liverpool couldn’t play between the lines as they usually would. Diogo Jota having just 42 touches in 90 minutes shows that – Leicester were able to stop that ball in between the lines.
Jurgen Klopp tried to fix that with a substitution on 63 minutes, hoping to push Liverpool forward. It only ended up highlighting the problem, however.
Jurgen Klopp tries to fix Liverpool struggles vs Leicester
Klopp brought on James Milner for Fabinho – a change you wouldn’t usually see. It seemed that the boss wanted more passing from midfield, rather than a defensive shield in the Brazilian.
The data really shows what Klopp wanted. Milner played 11 passes into the final third in just 27 minutes, a tally that only Trent Alexander-Arnold beat in the game with 13. And that was over a full 90. No other midfielder managed more than six such passes.
Liverpool sent Milner on to get the ball moving forward as they chased a goal – something no one else had managed to do from midfield. While he did it well, it does show that the Reds don’t have too many progressive midfielders.
With Thiago missing, they can struggle to move the ball properly – and that’s something they need to fix. An over-reliance on the Spaniard isn’t a good thing. Especially with his injury record.