THIAGO ADDS A WHOLE NEW LEVEL TO KLOPP’S MIDFIELD SET-UP
James Milner returned to action to play with Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones in an all-English midfield. It did not really work out in the first half. None of them were particularly poor or made a specific error or were hideously below the average of the team. But as a three, it didn’t bring the dynamism to either attacking intent or defensive relentlessness which has been a requirement of the team for years.
It wasn’t a huge surprise when the first two subs came in the center of the park to change things around. Thiago was brought on to change the dynamism and did his part by providing some lovely balls for attackers to feed on. He completed all his passes and won all his duels and was one of the few positives from an uneventful game.
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ANOTHER DRAW FOR THE REDS
The last time Liverpool and Newcastle played out a goalless draw back in February 1974. Seventy-three meetings since then have produced at least one goal and that record ended last night. Liverpool like last year is top once more, but the circumstances are very different: more points dropped, more teams grouped closely below them, more injuries, more chance of surprise results in a year with so many caveats.
Liverpool’s attacking woes in the last two matches coupled with all the defensive problems they are facing will make it difficult for them. With a fully fit midfield they will look to change their fortunes next time around. The Reds will look to start strong next year to set the tone for another title charge this season as rivals Manchester United are hot on their heels putting pressure on the leaders.