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Have Liverpool turned a tactical corner?

Premier League Liverpool
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BBC Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen reckons the game between Liverpool and Manchester United on Saturday was one of the best he has seen between the rivals at Anfield for six or seven years.

It was easy to see why. Usually cagey affairs, Manchester United started like a train, scoring within three minutes and seemingly set to rip Liverpool to shreds.

But then the hosts upped their work-rate and, according to Hansen, produced a fine display where they pressed their opponents causing the champions to make mistakes all over the pitch.

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Hansen believes Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez got his tactics spot on and he was also encouraged by Albert Riera's performance as the Reds seemed to add more width to their attack than in recent games.

Full-backs Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Aurelio also got forward more which will encourage the missing Fernando Torres who has shouldered the goal scoring burden for so long.

Have Liverpool finally found their groove? And how pleased were you that it happened without Torres and, for the most part, Steven Gerrard?

Does it prove that Liverpool can win games without the pair?

Meanwhile Dimitar Berbatov's debut was entirely in keeping with Manchester United's performance.

The Bulgarian seemed to go quiet after some strong Jamie Carragher challenges early on although he expertly set up the opening goal.

Did you see signs that he can link up with Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney? Or were you concerned that Rooney was stuck out on the right after his leading role through the middle for England in their 4-1 win over Croatia?

What impressed you during the game and what tactical hopes and concerns have you got for both teams for the rest of the season?

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comment by redconn (U2145708)

posted Sep 15, 2008

I'm talking to the minority. Sorry.

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posted Sep 15, 2008

Gerrard does play better when he has a free role, and consequently the midfield is stronger as Alonso and Mascherano do not attempt the 'superhuman' efforts but play a steady tactical game. This is apparent from the end of last season when Gerrard was used mainly as a second striker supporting Torres. I think Rafa is aware of this and hence the efforts to get Barry, who we know is a disciplined midfielder that rarely makes a mistake. I think this season we will see Gerrard playing on the right more often, with either Keane or Kuyt supporting Torres.

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comment by Haz1986 (U8161182)

posted Sep 15, 2008

redconn: Fair do's, there's always a few who can't take a defeat. Like you said, given our lucky breaks in the past few years we were due one!

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posted Sep 15, 2008

Interesting comments. But I think that MU fans should bear in mind that injuries+Internationals+no squad practice & therefore lack of midfield cohesion especially understandable. I think we lost the game completely in the middle and Liverpool were able to boss us after settling in. But with squad practice and no further interruptions/injuries that will change. And remember we have more points than this time last season!

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posted Sep 15, 2008

To:G_is_God (U6632876)

Funny how you talk of arrogance with a name like 'G is god' but fair enough?

And its not arrogance to think as the reining champs of the past 2 years and the widely accepted benchmark for all teams....to believe that if you finish above United you will be champions.

And my sincere apologies if my own aspirations for my team lead me to believe that we will be champions. Im unable to put myself in the place of a fan whos team has had to endure the tag of the EPL's perennial underachiever for the past 10 years...again apologies

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to horkstar: I think you'll find that Liverpool will have to finish above everyone else and not just United to be the champions. The arrogance of some man utd fans is astonishing.

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posted Sep 15, 2008

liverpool played better and deserved to win clearly, but you just know after a strong start they will have a very inconsistant middle part to the season then finish strong by which time they will be to far behind to win the league and just scrape fourth spot again.

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posted Sep 15, 2008

Credit must be given to Liverpool for the effort that they put in.

We looked flat and individualistic, at times really struggling to put 2 passes together.

Liverpool should take heart from this. They really ought to be putting themselves in the title frame come May.

Could become a cracker of a season, with the big 4 neck-and-necking it with a handful of games to go..

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Seriously, what more can you say? This is from a Utd fan. That's the nail on the head right there. 3 important points that go towards the title in finale in May. We should take confidence from the result and go for the throat in the next game. Let United worry about their performance and we'll worry about ours. Still, it was nice wasn't it? Made a change. <laugh>

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posted Sep 16, 2008

comment by geezergreig (U13252679)

posted 18 Hours Ago

liverpool played better and deserved to win clearly, but you just know after a strong start they will have a very inconsistant middle part to the season then finish strong by which time they will be to far behind to win the league and just scrape fourth spot again.
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When was the last time we 'scraped' 4th place, last season we were 11 points ahead of everton and the previous 2 we were third.

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posted Sep 17, 2008

Didn't somebody say that the game is 90 minutes? and Utd didn't play that. Maybe they thought at 1 nil up they had it in the bag? or maybe Liverpool settled down and played their game... either way, Liverpool deserved the win. Liverpool have been that way for years against Utd and somehow lost. We've played them out the park and lost.... so it was nice to get this one. Lets hope Chelsea win on Sunday and we get 3 points too! :o) YNWA

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