Post-Match Analysis: Leicester City (H)

Post-Match Analysis: Leicester City (H)
September 11, 2016 Daniel Rhodes

By Daniel Rhodes.

Well if that’s what building a new stand does for performances, then we should try it every week. Perhaps surprisingly, especially when you consider their predominant style of play last season, Leicester didn’t automatically drop into a low block and restrict the space; they were interested in playing. They also left space, and once the first goal goes in, it looked like it was going to be a walkover for the Reds.

Screen Shot 2016-09-11 at 08.17.45

Then the Defensive Error Curse struck again. The curse that means if we’re ever dominating a match, it appears and prevents our players from a) controlling the ball, or b) pass it to a teammate. This time it was makeshift centre-back Lucas, his feet turned to stone for a split second; his brain turned to mush. And he created the easiest chance of the season for Jamie Vardy to reduce the deficit to one before half-time.

While we all bemoaned the potential collapse during the break, expecting us to throw it away, the players and management reacted; we didn’t retreat into ourselves, we came out and produced more of the same. Stronger whirlpools, crisper link up play, roy-of-the-rovers shots like Lallana’s. Yes, Adam Lallana put his laces through the ball, and it was magnificent.

And we didn’t stop there… had Sturridge had his normal, clinical, shooting boots on, we’d have finished with six or seven against a team no other side has outplayed so comprehensively for over 12 months.

The rest of the post is for subscribers only.

[wcm_nonmember][ttt-subscribe-article][/wcm_nonmember][wcm_restrict]

Match Highlights:

Liverpool’s Chances

Leicester’s Chances

Match Stats:

Screen Shot 2016-09-11 at 08.55.47

  • The crucial stat: Big Chances – FIVE (we’ve only created four in the previous three matches).
  • Running big chances a close second, is the ELEVEN shots on target. Virtually unheard of in the Premier League, especially with only 17 total shots.
  • Look at the figures from the previous games: we have had more than our opponents in EVERY single metric I collect. We could be sitting on 12 points in a parallel universe.

Micheal Caley’s Expected Goal Model:

Graeme Riley’s Match Data:

(Click image below for full detail)

Screen Shot 2016-09-11 at 08.10.24

Liverpool’s 2016/17 Data by Andrew Beasley: Shots, Assists, Minutes Played:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vECtu09ScOM374eRCBNtZSpF3KTqJQsoTWQubUXpplc/edit#gid=0

(This will be updated, but even if it isn’t immediately after the match it still gives us a reference for the previous matches anyway)

Team Radars:

I started doing the Liverpool one for this, but as we put in a performance that was way above the benchmarks I’ve got for home games over the past five seasons I’m not sure how to rectify the issue of not fitting into the radar itself? Which is a pleasant problem to encounter, but not one I’ve got a solution for at this moment in time. Any help on this issue would be appreciated.

One idea is to remove the ‘per game’ element and just go back to highest and lowest totals rather than averages. Any thoughts?

The RedMen TV’s Player Ratings:

Press Conferences:

[/wcm_restrict]

Comments (19)

  1. Author

    Now we’ve started…

    Klopp’s Reds have been threatening to do that to a side this season, and finally we do it, and my words was it amazing.

    Sturridge, Lallana and Firmino absolutely magnificent.

    Mane, Henderson and Wijnaldum close behind.

    Lucas, Matip, Clyne, Milner and Mignolet restricted the Foxes well (and stretched them down the flanks in the case of the full-backs.)

    The Team trumps them all. It was the teamwork, the unselfishness togetherness, the interplay, oh the interplay. Morgan and Huth will feel like helter-skelters this morning.

    I tried to remember the last time this happened to Leicester… I remembered the Arsenal 5-2, but having watched that game they didn’t rip them to shreds like we did.

  2. Joe Bloggs 6 years ago

    Hate to be doing this again but:

    “we didn’t retreat into our shelfs”

    Unless we’re all classical pieces of literature, don’t think this applies 🙂

    • James Fleming 6 years ago

      or it could be a sean connery impression ala trainspotting 🙂

  3. terryd 6 years ago

    Most of the praise will go to the attackers, who were fantastic; I really enjoyed Sturridge’s intelligent performance, that back-heel assist was brilliant. But I am very excited about Matip, and I don’t normally get excited by central defenders! Everything he did was so assured. I love seeing a central defender stride out with ball and disrupt the opposition. Overall that was a great team performance, like 2013-14 with a defence ;-). Bring on the plastics.

  4. Beez 6 years ago

    My google doc spreadsheet is now up to date. Headlines:

    – Mané has a goal or assist every 72 mins so far. Sturridge every 56!

    – Only five games in but we’re down to three who’ve played every minute: Mignolet, Clyne and Henderson. Lallana, Wijnaldum and Firmino have at least appeared in every match.

    – Milner has scored or assisted in his last three appearances.

    PS: Here’s my postmatch radar: https://twitter.com/BassTunedToRed/status/774914424213741568

  5. Anthony Stanley 6 years ago

    I’ve been asked to submit a weekly article for LFC Xtra again so here’s the five things sneak preview 😉
    Five things we learned: Leicester City.
     
    Liverpool earned the right to dominate.
     
    Predictably, Leicester City were out of the traps quickly and sought to inflict their high pressure game on the Reds.  But under the magnificent new Main Stand, with a buoyant crowd firmly behind them, Liverpool weathered the Foxes’ bright start and, through skill and hard work, began to emerge as a serious footballing team.  Some of the moves were breathtaking; the panache and audacity of the play at times a joy to behold.  The passing was frequently as crisp as the evening’s autumnal air, the pressing relentless and rabid, the runs from those in a red shirt intelligent and thrilling.  4-1 did not flatter the Reds against the champions of England as time and time again, they broke down a miserly defence.  From the foraging runs of Clyne, the adroit use of the ball of Milner through to the industrious and clever midfield and the nous of the attacking triumvirate, this was total football.  The good news, of course, is that at this nascent stage of the season, the play will only improve as Jurgen’s blueprint begins to coalesce.  
     
    Firmino’s second season could be special.
     
    Attackers with flair and staggering workrate are nothing new to Liverpool supporters and in the Brazilian number eleven, the Reds may have found an heir to his illustrious forebears.  Firmino was magnificent against Leicester City; his industry was non-stop, his touch and use of the ball was stunning.  The beleaguered Leicester City defenders were never given a second as the South American star was constantly nipping into them, ceaselessly running; a constant razor sharp thorn.  His two goals were expertly taken and graphically displayed just what an intelligent footballer Firmino is but his display at Anfield was a perfect marriage of intensity and subtleness.  Roberto had three shots on target, made four key passes, completed four out of four long balls and had an overall pass completion of 83.6%, one of the highest on the pitch.  
     
    Lallana is stepping up.
     
    The England international would appear to be revelling in his new deeper position and is now adding numbers to his incredible work rate and intelligent pressing.  Lallana has always been a clever and incisive user of the ball, always shown a calmness and a velvety touch, but he now looks to have added a ruthless dimension to his game.  His finish for the killer third goal – which visibly wilted and tamed the frenetic Foxes – was sublime, a rocket into the top corner which a despairing Schmeichel could do nothing about.  Lallana is frequently the trigger for the press; the initial dynamo that prompts the rest of the Liverpool side to hunt the opposition and his intelligence is vital to how Klopp wants the team to play.  Like many of his teammates at Anfield, the Reds’ number 20 allayed brilliant use of the ball with an incessant work rate as he attempted 63 passes with an accuracy of 81%, made a successful through ball, had two shots, of which one was on target and touched the ball 81 times – the highest in the middle part of the pitch and showing his vital influence on the game.
     
    Daniel Sturridge can be pivotal.
     
    In a Klopp system, the common theme is frequently work rate and industry and Sturridge – arguably Liverpool’s most talented player – gave a display against the Foxes that promises much.  The England striker belied the charge that his style may not be compatible with what his manager requires and was non-stop motion, strength and style at Anfield.  Very few players in the league would have the audacity and technique to pull off his sublime assist for Mane; an expert and breathtaking backheel while under immense pressure and running full tilt.  The only thing that was missing from Daniel’s performance was a goal that he richly deserved as he had four shots on target, completed two key passes and also al dribble.  In thrilling conjunction with his attacking prowess, Sturridge also made one interception and a successful tackle.
     
    Mane the X Factor.
     
    Few players have made such a mesmerising and immediate impact as the Senegalese international.  At a bouncing Anfield, his pace and skill tormented Leicester City; his direct play was often the catalyst for another bout of thrilling red attacking.  Mane visibly terrifies the opposition and adds a unique dimension to Liverpool’s armoury.  He took his goal superbly – a brilliant, improvised flick – and posed a non stop threat to the Foxes all evening.  The Reds’ forward had two shots on target, made three key passes, an assist and completed five successful dribbles – by far the most on the pitch.  He also showed his strength in the air as he won three aerial duels (only Leicester’s Robert Huth completed more).  Stats don’t really do Mane justice however; he is that shot of the unpredictable, the dash of chaos that can be the difference between a very good side and a brilliant one.
     

  6. madchenKliop 6 years ago

    Totally agree with Daniel, that it’s ‘the team that trumps them all’ in the post match plaudits stakes.  The way they handled the opening quarter of the match/ first 20 minutes set up a platform of confidence and consistency that served to grind down Leicester’s will – after an initial burst of positivity, they were feeding on crumbs by that point.  One thing I noticed was that a lot of the battles that set this tone were won down our left hand side with fantastic positioning and resilience shown by Wijnaldum, Milner and Lucas.  They were always there to support eachother wth Milner showing incredible discipline in sticking to his role and Lucas using all that experience and defensive anticipation to close things down early.  I was really impressed by the way Wijnaldum always seemed to be within 5 yards of a teamate, available for a short pass or give and go whether it was in defence or attack or out on the wing.  I think his energy and awareness are exceptional and as he gets more comfortable with his role in the team we are beginning to see the emergence of a key player for Liverpool.  There are very few players who have enough energy to perform this mobile role and it’s an added bonus that it seems he’s going under the radar, a bit like Kanté last season who people didn’t appreciate fully til the end of the season.

    I thought it was a weird game also, in that the goals didn’t seem to alter the flow of the game and thankfully, nor did the mistake for theirs.  Perhaps we were a little foruitous in the timing of that one, in that wasn’t too much time to wobble before half time.  But the most encouraging thing of all was that we had already set up this very solid team structure which made it easy to fall back into shape and rhythm after any event in the game and it seems to be having an excellent suffocating effect on opposition energy and willpower.

    One other thing, – did anybody think that the Anfield pitch seemed to have grown wider?  I mean, it must obviously be down to the style of play, but I can’t remember us looking so comfortable with the amount of space available for a while.

    • koolhand21 6 years ago

      Brilliant comment as usual Madchen.

      Klopp has gotten his message across and one can see it being more firmly implanted each time out. The team has become more than believers, they are true believers! Studge’s run drawing 2 defenders gave Bobby F the room to score. That was team play at its finest.

  7. garythespud 6 years ago

    Three word analysis: Fucking boss, that.

  8. Allen Baynes 6 years ago

    A great day yesterday and no new ground jinx to overcome!

    As you walk from the 12th man the new stand seems to rise before you, the big picture of Klopp dominates, “Anfield where greatness happens”, is the logo underneath it, I think?

    Well it certainly felt like that for most of the game. I thought the atmosphere after the second goal, whilst Simpson was being treated was electric. When ‘We are Liverpool’ reverberated around in perfect unison from all four stands, it felt very special and hopefully the sign of things to come.

    JK has stopped the early dart by the uncommitted, although I have taken the names of a few who got off from the Lower Centenary, and I fully expect that Jurgen will have them in his office on Monday for a bollocking 🙂  I love the way he is starting to orchestrate the fans :-

    Don’t leave early – tick

    Create a better atmosphere – tick

    Believe that you can score goals in the last 5 minutes, including injury time – tick

    Don’t sing my name until the game is over  – work in progress

    Now he has to stop the lack of bottle,the heightened sense of fan anxiety that follows every mistake, usually from the Ming  – cue buying Karius?

    All in all a very good day at the ‘Temple of unbounded joy’, so much better than a theatre where you can only dream. 🙂

     

  9. MikeH 6 years ago

    Dan and Madchen both mentioned the team..That’s what really stood out especially from Sturridge who was not desperately trying to be” the man” but did selfless work that wreaked havoc. If he can maintain fitness and learn this lesson, he really will be an unbelievable player.

     

  10. Beez 6 years ago

    This match was the first time we had at least five clear-cut chances at home in a league game since the 5-1 win over Arsenal in 2014.

    • Beez 6 years ago

      Opta have downgraded us to four clear-cut chances for this match, rendering this stat incorrect. Bastards 😉

      To be fair, they initially had Henderson’s shot over the bar as a CCC and I didn’t think it was when I first saw it. I can see why that one was downgraded.

  11. echykr 6 years ago

    What do you guys all think of Wijnaldum’s performance so far?

    Previously I mentioned this in the match thread

    Apart from the Lucas brain-fart that led to the Vardy goal, which even Howard Webb said should not have been allowed, everyone was decent.

    It was a famous 4-1 win over the defending champions, in our first home game of the season where we showcase our newly expanded stadium to the world.

    Yet first thing this ex-colleague LFC “fan” of mine on Facebook does is demand Lucas, Mignolet and Wijnaldum to be sold. I questioned him on the sudden Wij hate, and he claimed Wij did absolutely nothing and was a waste of money despite me pointing out that Wij contributed to both the wrongly disallowed goal against Spurs as well as this match’s assist for Lallana’s goal.

    It wasn’t the first time he was negative for the sake of being negative. In fact, everytime he posts about Liverpool on FB, he never seems to have anything positive to say.

    This latest bout of mindless irrational knee-jerkism was the final straw for me, and so I promptly unfriended him for good.

  12. vvedula 6 years ago

    For the first goal, we all rightly praised Sturridge for his run to drag the defender wide, giving space for Firmino.

    But for the second goal, did you all notice Firmino dropping deep that dragged Morgan up, and left Leicester City’s defense exposed?

  13. Just finished watching the chances created video above.

    One thing I took from the video was that Wijnaldum, Henderson needs to do extra sessions with Coutinho on proper shooting technique. And Coutinho needs to do extra sessions with Wijnaldum on when to shoot. Lallana needs to be in both session just to continue improving his shooting and timing technique.

Leave a reply