Sophie GayterComment

Weekend in Review-- Week 23

Sophie GayterComment

The game of the season at Anfield, the Moyessiah having the desired effect for West Ham United, and Arsenal gonna Arsenal...

Best game:

Liverpool 4- Manchester City 3: A lot of times (particularly if Mourinho is involved) these Super Sunday clashes fail to live up to hype. But this match was an instant Premier League classic. Liverpool were at their heavy metal football best, and City though shell shocked by a 10 min Liverpool 2nd half onslaught actually didn't play that badly, and would have probably won comfortably had they given the same performance against any other team in the league. City though disappointed to have finally been defeated, won't be too disheartened as they are still miles away at the top of the table.

Liverpool were electric going forward in this game, but their defensive collapse in the last 10 minutes highlighted the problems with personnel, tactics, and (look away now Kloppaholics) manager as well. The gegenpressing, everything but the kitchen sink style football is glorious to watch when in full flow, but Liverpool looked absolutely out on their feet the last 10 minutes of the game, and had the game gone on another 5 minutes, it would have been no surprise had it finished 4-5 to City. Klopp has to find a balance between all out attack, and the ability to lock down a game and secure the points. It wasn't until the score was 4-3 and City were looking rampant that Klopp reacted by throwing on Klavan to try and steady a nervy and exhausted back line. So, as wonderful as they were at times, it did feel at the end that they were a little lucky to come out on top. Yes, it is at the core a personnel issue, their defense and goalkeepers simply aren't good enough, and though Van Dijk is an upgrade, he is not the solution to all their defensive problems.

Liverpool look like they will be the most likely challengers to City over the next couple of years, but if Klopp can't learn to set up shop they will only ever be the nearly-men-- watching on as the less beautiful, yet more pragmatic teams perpetually finish above them.

Best goal:

Roberto Firmino vs. Man City: In a weekend of stunners (Mane, Salah, Valencia, Martial) Firmino's tops the lot for its sheer impudence. When Oxlade-Chamberlain played the ball in behind Stones for Firmino to chase, there was no imminent danger. But Firmino made (50 million pound center back) Stones look like a rag doll as he nudged him off the ball and lifted the most delicate of chips over the on rushing Ederson, sending Anfield bananas.

Player of the weekend:

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Many eyebrows were raised when this deal went through last summer. It reminded me a bit of the Welbeck to Arsenal transfer... a relatively young England international, yanked in and out of his previous side in a variety of positions leaving for another top 4 rival. But over the course of the last month or so, The Ox has shown just how he fits into this Liverpool team and why when on form he is a quintessential Klopp player. He was everywhere against City, and set the tone for what was to be a tremendous night for Liverpool with a driving run and finish in the 9th minute. As England are currently suffering a central midfield crisis, The Ox's recent form for his club should give Gareth Southgate something to think about, as he would certainly bring some much needed energy, thrust, and creativity to the center of the park.

Team of the weekend:

                De Gea

Valencia Maguire Vertonghen Robertson

Son Oxlade-Chamberlain Pogba Mane

                Firmino Kane