Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Chelsea play through the early press, but Henderson’s positioning helps Liverpool win the game in the second half

April 15, 2019
Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Chelsea play through the early press, but Henderson’s positioning helps Liverpool win the game in the second half

Chelsea played through Liverpool’s press impressively before half-time, but then a 10-minute burst of pressure won Liverpool the game.

Jurgen Klopp’s team selection was as expected, with the trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita – who started together in a 4-3-3 for the first time in the midweek win over Porto – again in midfield.

Maurizio Sarri sprung a slight surprise by using Eden Hazard in the false nine position he’s played sporadically this season. Sarri has repeatedly explained that, while Hazard does bring link-up qualities to that central position, this move is primarily designed to get the Belgian away from a position where he has defensive responsibilities. Against a Liverpool side who depend heavily upon their two full-backs for creativity, it made sense not to field the Belgian out wide. Read more »

Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid: Barca rampant down the left, ending Lopetegui’s brief reign

October 30, 2018
Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid: Barca rampant down the left, ending Lopetegui’s brief reign

Barcelona dominated throughout the first half and during the final 20 minutes, although Real’s half-time change of system nearly rescued the game.

Ernesto Valverde was without Leo Messi, and left Ousmane Dembele on the bench.

Julien Lopetegui’s main problem was the absence of Dani Carvajal, which meant Nacho continued at right-back.
Read more »

France 4-2 Croatia: Mbappe and Pogba shine after half-time in a scrappy game

July 16, 2018
France 4-2 Croatia: Mbappe and Pogba shine after half-time in a scrappy game

France 4-2 Croatia analysis is here.