By Michael Grimes
Liverpool’s 7-2 defeat yesterday to Aston Villa was one of the heaviest defeats in the clubs history, the first time they had conceded seven goals in a match since April 1963 against Tottenham Hotspur.
They are the first defending league champions in almost 70 years to concede seven in a match. But what went wrong?
The main problem for the reds was their high line. This normally allows them to press and win the ball back higher up the pitch.
Aston Villa figured out Liverpool’s high press very early on yesterday and took advantage of it.
Throughout the game Liverpool didn’t respond to Aston Villa’s threat. Whenever Villa beat that press, they were through on goal and Jack Grealish had the measure of Joe Gomez all match down the far side
The high press is a calculated risk because you are relying on winning the ball back higher up the pitch to immediately attack, but once the press is beaten, there is acres of space in the middle of the pitch for the opposition to exploit, which Villa did yesterday.
Compared to last season, the reds have already conceded seven more goals this early on, conceding 11 goals so far.
This is compared to just three goals after four games last season, so what could this mean in the long term and what does it mean right now?
It could mean that teams have figured out how to play against the high press played by Liverpool and are better equipped to deal with Klopp’s tactics.
in order to change this the reds will have to start dropping back, giving the midfield more of a chance to win the midfield battle.
It remains to be seen what Klopp does about the high press during the international break and in the merseyside derby following the international break.