Jurgen Klopp’s Tactical Master class which saw Liverpool cruise pass Wolves to a 4 – 0 victory at Anfield on the 6/12/2020
Liverpool lined up in their traditional 4-3-3 formation with Wijnaldum lining up as the holding midfielder while Henderson took the wing.
Liverpool started with its classic front three as Jota starts from the bench.
Liverpool’s formation Versatility
During the early moments of the game, Wijnaldum played as the sole Defensive Midfielder while Henderson pushes forward as Jones drops deep to receive the ball at the auxiliary LB position while Robertson pushes upfront.
At some stages in the game, Jones and Wijnaldum would form a double pivot while Robertson maintains his spot at LB. This means Firmino would drop deep while Salah tries to drop wide deep to get involve in play pushing Henderson further up.
If the ball was switched and rotated around quickly, Liverpool always had 3 men out wide. Jones and Salah are the men wider with Henderson playing between the lines inside.
There were cases where Henderson will drop deep into the RB positions. Williams will be upfront wide as Salah drops into midfield occupying Wolves’ CMs.
The three men of Salah, Williams and Henderson formed a perfect rotational combination. When one is at the wing out wide, one must be at RB and the other at the inside between the lines.
Liverpool’s Personal Switch
Midway through the game, Henderson would switch to DM as Jones switches to RM while Wijnaldum would occupy the LM. Henderson was then able to use his pin point passing to dictate the play from midfield.
It was here that Henderson forced Wolves defender to make a mistake leading to Salah’s opener.
Wolves pressing high plus Firmino’s role
To try and force for an equalizer, Wolves often attacked Wijnaldum who plays as DM in pers avoiding him from receiving the ball deep down.
At some stages in the game, Firmino is forced to move deep into his own side to receive the ball thereby pulling two players towards him. By the time Firmino receives the ball from the CBs, Henderson is free as Dendoncker who was shielding him left him free to try and deal with Firmino. A clever pass to Henderson by Firmino is what actually follows next.
Again Firmino would drop deep and receive the ball then fires upfront by attacking Semedo who leaves Robertson unmarked in Wolves own half side.
Nuno E. Santos adopted his most recent 4-3-3 formation with Podence leading the front three.
Marcal was opted at LB ahead of younger AIt-Nouri.
When Wolves is out of possession, their formation turns to a 4-4-2 with Podence and Neves up front. The initial midfield 3 becomes 4 with Adama Traore dropping in midfield wide to help Semedo.
While Liverpool is still in possession from the back line, Wolves would drop to a 4-5-1 forcing Robertson to avoid going high up. This means Liverpool will have to play horizontally around the back. The Wolves’ 5 in midfield means that they are trying to avoid the distance between their midfield and attack too big which could isolate their lone 9.
However, Wolves would still often switch to a flat midfield 5 as Liverpool draws closer towards Wolves own half. The flat 5 switch is to play a conservative football.
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Nuno E. Santos Half Time Tactical switch
With the objective of having a go at Liverpool, Nuno switched Adama Traore to the LW in an attempt to have a go at the booked and often shaky Williams.
Wolves often break through as Robertson push too high giving Traore space to run into. But Liverpool’s defensive shape and brilliance was fine enough to cover for an out of position Robertson/players.
Key defensive movements from the Liverpool defenders and midfield meant that Wolves were unable to break through.
As said earlier, while Henderson was switched to DM and with Wolves trying to avoid isolating their lone 9 with a 5 in midfield, Henderson was able to use his long through ball ability to set up Salah’s first goal as the pressure on him at the midfield from Wolves 5 man midfield was little.
Liverpool’s second goal by Wijnaldum
Wolves poured out many men during a corner kick to try and get level with Liverpool leaving to many attacking positions. Liverpool however picked the ball and engaged in a counter with two of Wolves’ defenders and a midfielder all caught high and their LB in the attacking half too.
One long ball from Henderson found Wijnaldum who caused a 3v2. But with the Wolves lone 2 defenders trying to close up the space for a pass from Wijnaldum to either Salah or Mane, Wijnaldum was left with no other choice than to curl the ball which went pass Patricio into the back of the net.
Liverpool’s third goal by Matip
A brilliant quick corner by Liverpool saw then in a 2v1 situation. Henderson and Salah vs Podence.
The marking is actually not bad but Matip was in a pivotal position to make a run pass most of Wolves’ block.
Henderson’s inward run caused Podence and his team mate to pull back giving a chance for Salah to cross. The cross successfully found in motion Matip who head pass Patricio making it 3-0.
Liverpool’s fourth but own goal by Semedo forced by Mane
The build-up tothis goal was an absolute beauty. Jones skips pass some weak challenges on him while adopting his position. Salah and Mane’s quick sense of Jone’s decision tracked forward causing Marcal (LB) to defend against Salah who occupied the central Forward zone. This left space for Trent Alexandre Arnold in the RW as Neto (RW) who had to cover up at LB for Marcal did nothing. Boly also pulled inside towards Jota. This means only captain Coady is left to deal with two wingers (Mane and Salah) who runs into their box while Trent Alexandre Arnold pulls a cross.
Semedo was forced to lunge desperately in attempt to clear-off an easy tap from Mane. Unfortunately for Semedo, he ended up converting it into his own net.
Wolves is left with nothing to play again as the time has already gone pass levels.
A tactical master class by Klopp and his men saw them end the match with a 4 – 0 win against a though Wolves side. That means Liverpool has now gone a record 65 Premier games without a home lose.