Anfield Replica

A packed defence – a very effective one at that; a goalless first half, indeed a boring first half; a missed penalty; a controlled and measured approach by the Reds rather than a frenetic one; a final scoreline of 3-0.

For many readers, I could be describing the Huddersfield fixture, but in fact the opposition was Maribor. It was quite astounding how alike the two games were.

I sense there is a subtle (perhaps even overt) change of approach to Klopp’s team-play in recent weeks. Perhaps he’s got fed-up of watching his players going hell-for-leather for 45 minutes, running themselves into the ground to no avail before running out of steam in the second period.

The new style seems to be a reversal of previous tactics. Last night Trent was given licence to maraud down the right flank, but Moreno, for the second successive game, showed what a changed player he is.
Only in the late stages, with the game won, was he the gung-ho full back of the past.

There are still many who cannot forgive the Spaniard for the Seville final defeat of two years back, but no question, if we’re threatened on the counter, Moreno’s speed is a godsend.

Regarding Maribor specifically, it was an experience to witness their formation. Following their public humiliation in the 1st leg and with a huge following at Anfield, it was obvious that some retention of pride was the order. Five were stretched across the back for the whole game, with four in front of them. Their lone striker was basically a centre midfield.

Resistance even of that nature couldn’t last forever – and it didn’t!

I did feel sorry for Karius, who surely was frozen stiff! That said, one low shot sped through a forest of legs and he was alert enough to save well. However, I’m still not convinced about the guy. Goalkeepers are a special breed and he simply doesn’t shape like one

Just like Saturday, it was a case of job done. We’ve definitely been spoiled at times under Klopp, but I’m someone who’s more than ready to settle for this scoreline every week!

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