LIVERPOOL 0-0 Bolton
Allen(Lucas Leiva 66)
LIVERPOOL KEY PLAYER(S):
Jordan Henderson(Box-to box centre-midfielder)
CLEAR CUT CHANCES:1-0
•Liverpool played in a 3-4-2-1 formation.This was likely used to counteract the 3-4-1-2 which Bolton normally use.
•Three at the back allowed Liverpool to keep possession at time were it wouldn’t have been possible with four defenders.Under Brendan Rodgers,Liverpool have in the last struggled to keep the ball in their own half,playing with more limited defenders such a Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger,they would keep the ball far more effectively in more advanced positions.However this season,Liverpool have deployed a 3-4-1-2 or a 3-4-2-1 with success,they have been able to keep the ball in deeper areas of the field,not forcing the build up play in a desperate attempt to get the ball to midfield.
•Liverpool looked vulnerable out wide and were almost punished on a number of occasions.Bolton’s two non-central centre-backs and striker both came into the channel to support the wide man and create an overload.Liverpool’s wing-backs were under a lot of pressure to not lose the ball in the wide area as this could potentially result in a 3v1 if Bolton’s transition was good.However,as the game progressed,Johnson and Sakho adapted and began to come wide and support Manquillo and Enrique.This could have resulted in a problem centrally,with the centre-backs being left in a 2v2 however Bolton’s attacking midfielder didn’t push up to create a 2v2.
•Liverpool’s main pressers were the attacking midfielders and wing-backs.Coutinho and Lallana would press the non-central centre-backs at high intensity.Sterling’s only job was to occupy the main centre-back,if the centre-back moved into midfield then Sterling would follow.The wing-backs would drop deeper than usual when defending,forming a back five,this likely to stop the threat of Bolton’s long ball into their tall strikers who would move into the channel,however if the ball breached Liverpool’s first pressing line,the wing-backs would narrow if the ball was central or press quickly if wide.
•Bolton’s compact 3-4-1-2 made it difficult for Liverpool to find space in attack.An area which Liverpool did find slightly more success however was in the ‘halfspace’.Lallana and Coutinho looked to occupy the ‘halfspace’ if the attack had slowed down,this caused Bolton problems as it meant all three centre-backs were occupied.This left a 1v1 with Sterling and the centre-back and a 2v1 on both flanks with Johnson and Sakho supporting the wing-backs,both duels Liverpool expect to win.However what caused Bolton most problems in the ‘halfspace’ was Sterling’s 1v1 against the centre-back,the reason for this being Sterling’s freedom to roam wherever he liked whereas the centre-back was needed centrally,this meaning Sterling could get on the ball while unmarked.
•The introductions of both Markovic and Borini were very positive,although no end product was found due to Bolton’s terrific last-ditch defending,both caused problems.In the first half,Liverpool had been struggling out wide,rarely getting a cross in or causing problems from out wide but Markovic and Sterling’s(Borini moved central and Sterling moved to right-wing back)pace caused real problems for the visitors.This resulted in far more succesful 1v1’s out wide,exactly what Lallana and Coutinho moving into the ‘halfspace’ looked to create.