Fulham 2-2 Liverpool
Craven Cottage, Premier League
Saturday 6 August, 2022
Objectives: Mitrovic 32′ 72′ pen; Darwin 63′, Salah 81′
Gradual begin towards energetic new faces
Observe to the squad: Pepijn Lijnders‘ e book is out now. Is likely to be price a learn earlier than kick-off within the subsequent recreation, particularly that huge phrase on the entrance that some folks name the title: INTENSITY.
It may be our id within the assistant’s eyes, but it surely wasn’t at Craven Cottage – for the opening quarter-hour it seemed extra like a bunch of lads had begrudgingly acquired themselves right down to the native park to play a Sunday League recreation after a very heavy evening earlier than.
Torpid off the ball, sloppy in possession, in no way combative in one-on-one challenges; this was as unhealthy as something we may have anticipated on the opening day.
It will have made for a tricky recreation towards anybody within the Premier League, however towards a newly promoted facet with each gamers and residential crowd massively up for it, it made for poor viewing certainly.
Marco Silva most likely would have been grinning inside too, given he was sacked after we hammered him in his final Premier League recreation.
There have been no scarcity of underperformers within the first half and there wouldn’t have been many stunned faces had Jurgen Klopp opted to make one or two of his 5 subs on the break.
Chief among the many issues with that sluggish begin and poor affect on the sport was the Reds’ lack of competitiveness in central midfield.
Fabinho was nowhere close to his ball-winning greatest, Thiago was extra aggressive however unable to search out his vary with longer switched passes and the much less mentioned about Jordan Henderson‘s first half the higher.
It had the knock-on impact of which means little or no build-up play getting by means of to the attacking third, no actual help to Salah and Co when longer balls from the again reached them, and above all else no safety for the full-backs as the house workforce saved countering the channels.
Thiago‘s harm after the restart sped up Jurgen Klopp‘s plans, maybe, however there ought to be little question that modifications would have been coming quickly sufficient anyway. By the hour mark the midfield was all-change from the beginning, together with Hendo going into the six position, and the alterations had been badly wanted.
Accidents impacting already?
That huge group of eight Klopp famous in the beginning of the season is already down by half, one league recreation into the marketing campaign.
Naturally some accidents will last more than others and a few should be anticipated and accepted right through the season.
However given the Ibou Konate harm has seemingly affected Klopp’s defensive plans within the switch market – Nat Phillips now doubtlessly not leaving in consequence – we’ll await and see if accidents in midfield have the reverse impact, forcing a reconsideration in whether or not to deliver one other face in.
Darwin’s huge affect – once more
Two sides up to now: firstly Darwin Nunez‘s glorious particular person displaying after coming off the bench, but additionally the truth that his presence helped Mohamed Salah be way more concerned within the recreation too.
Bobby Firmino didn’t, it’s truthful to say, have a great recreation. He was hooked early within the second interval, although Darwin’s first alternative truly noticed him spurn a taking pictures probability and mess up the move too – a giant probability missed.
The subsequent two had been mirrors of one another although: one backheel from a Salah cross which was saved, then one backheel from a Salah cross which went in, equaliser achieved.
He virtually claimed an help with a knockdown for Luis Diaz straight after, however then did handle one for the 2-2 equaliser, getting a contact again to Salah who rolled in from shut vary.
The early link-up indicators between the 2 are good, although there’s tons to work on elsewhere.
Tiresomely early, however title implications
Wow, day one and we discuss shedding floor? Sadly it’s the relentless fact of the Premier League – it’s important to purpose for about 95 factors to be in with a shout of the title and even that isn’t sufficient.
Which means you possibly can drop round 19 factors for all the league season, and we’re already as much as two, or simply over 10 per cent.
Put that means it reveals the horrible must win, win, win if you wish to elevate the title. After all, it isn’t terminal.
The opening day is a tricky one to navigate and there are 37 matches to rectify issues later – and this facet greater than most have proven a capability to bounce again after setbacks and go on superb profitable runs.
It’ll should act as an early reminder as to the requirements wanted although, and set us straight again onto the profitable path.