John Terry was quick to comment on Liverpool’s start vs Aston Villa on Tuesday night. The former Chelsea captain wasn’t impressed.
Liverpool played Aston Villa at Villa Park on Tuesday evening and things got off to a rapid start. The Reds went 1-0 down inside three minutes but did manage to equalise just two minutes after that.
But Villa troubled them from the get-go. They pressed high, forced errors and Liverpool struggled to get a foothold on the game. That prompted former Chelsea captain – and Aston Villa assistant – John Terry to comment on the game.
“Liverpool are all over the place defensively,” he wrote on Twitter.
And it was hard to disagree with that. Terry made the comment after just 26 minutes of football – and they were 26 minutes where Villa could have had more than just the one goal.
What happened soon after, however, puts things in an interesting light.
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Liverpool lined up with a first-time midfield here – Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Naby Keita. They’ve never been a trio before and in hindsight, it was a midfield that perhaps lacked leadership.
It’s okay to lack that if the trio are used to playing together regularly. With these three, though, the Reds didn’t have someone who could put their foot on the ball and dictate the game in midfield. There wasn’t the usual organisation, essentially.
On 29 minutes, though, Fabinho went off with an unfortunate injury. On came Jordan Henderson and Liverpool were a lot less vulnerable to Villa’s press afterwards. The captain had the side playing faster and smarter – it’s what he brings to the side.
Liverpool weren’t quite as good at stopping counter-attacks with Fabinho off the pitch but they did look more solid on the whole. Of course, having Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago all in the side has the team looking at the their best – it’s a trio that can control any game.
For this one, though, Jurgen Klopp perhaps got things wrong with his choice of midfield to start off.