Liverpool saw their pressing collapse vs Leicester City on Tuesday evening. The Reds just couldn’t get it together in a 1-0 defeat.
There are certain things Liverpool rely on to win games. One is having world-class players in virtually every position, another is having a consistent, proven system to fall back on.
But above all, Liverpool’s pressing is their bread and butter. It’s how they force pressure on teams and winning the ball back quickly is often their greatest playmaker.
Unfortunately, that completely collapsed. In fact, it collapsed beyond belief.
Liverpool fail with pressing vs Leicester
A ‘successful’ press is one where the team has the ball within six seconds of that player applying pressure. It doesn’t matter if the player won the ball back himself – just that he contributed to the team regaining possession quickly.
Diogo Jota has been successful with around 27.7% of his presses this season. That’s a good number and it’s one he fell just short of vs Leicester at 26.7%. But he was the only forward who put in a number like that.
Sadio Mane, for instance, is successful with around 30.8% of his presses on average. Against Leicester? The Liverpool no.10 pressed 13 times and one of those came off – 7.7%. Trent Alexander-Arnold put up the exact same numbers, in fact, despite usually finding success 35% of the time.
And then there’s Mohamed Salah. 13 presses against Leicester but none of them worked. This from a player who usually boasts a 27% success rate.
Liverpool’s midfield and defence – Alexander-Arnold aside – pressed as well as always. Their wingers, however, struggled badly to win the ball back. Leicester had a far easier ride here than they should have.
And we’re not criticising individual Liverpool players here – pressing is a team action. But it fell to pieces against Leicester and was a huge reason the Reds failed to force pressure on their hosts.