First day blues & Firmino or Nunez? – Final phrase on Fulham 2-2 Liverpool – Liverpool FC

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Whereas each Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez etched their identify on the scoresheet, the 2-2 draw at Fulham was removed from the specified consequence and efficiency.

Ten weeks on from the Champions League closing, Liverpool had been again in aggressive motion and Fulham was the duty forward of them on the opening day.

One can not assume something on this league however three factors had been anticipated, but they weren’t delivered, regardless of the goalscoring efforts of Salah and Nunez.

Jurgen Klopp‘s aspect had been disjointed and the supervisor admitted Liverpool had been “simply not ok” to take all three factors again to Merseyside.

Right here, This Is Anfield’s Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) is joined by Lewis Bower (@LewisBower2021), Lubo Domo (@lubodomo) and Aaron Cutler (@aaron_cutler) to speak opening day struggles, the midfield and who ought to begin up prime towards Crystal Palace.

 

A draw that felt like a defeat…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker (L) and Virgil van Dijk react after Fulham are awarded a penalty during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

AARON: There’s no escaping the very fact it made for a poor begin to the season. Having threatened to blow Man Metropolis away within the Neighborhood Protect, few supporters may have envisaged us starting so sluggishly.

The may and relentlessness of Metropolis have distorted this league past recognition. A draw – nonetheless early – appears like a defeat. Which will sound dramatic however there may be merely no margin for error. Liverpool is aware of that higher than anybody which made our strategy all of the extra irritating.

Sadly, too a lot of our lads had been underneath par. We had been second to the whole lot and lacked any actual cohesion. Continuous breaks in play solely exacerbated issues.

It’s uncommon to see the likes of Alexander-Arnold, Matip and Van Dijk so off the boil… and that’s earlier than you get to midfield.

LUBO: I’m not the kind to criticise after one recreation, however the workforce lacked rhythm and I used to be additionally stunned by Virgil getting fooled by Mitrovic.

Fabinho was removed from his finest, Thiago overhit a number of passes too and there was no hyperlink between midfield and assault. Salah, Diaz and Bobby barely touched the ball within the first half and Trent acquired crushed on the second submit, not for the primary time.

JOANNA: I had a unique viewing expertise this time round and it made for attention-grabbing viewing as my household stirred the pot and seemed for any response.

As the one Liverpool fan within the massive gathering, I used to be alone and I didn’t have a lot to counter with as we actually had been so desperately poor – of which I used to be readily reminded.

As you stated, Aaron, it’s onerous to reconcile the truth that this was near the workforce that was relentless towards Man Metropolis solely per week in the past, the stress, self-discipline and accuracy had been simply not there at Fulham.

Two factors dropped. Liverpool can not afford us saying that too many occasions this season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (R) celebrates with team-mate Mohamed Salah after scoring his side's first goal to level the score 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

AARON: As for positives? At the very least we didn’t lose.

LEWIS: Regardless of a wretched consequence and, as a complete, efficiency, Klopp can forged hope within the efficiency of Harvey Elliott. Harvey linked a disjointed midfield to a fairly hopeful however subdued Salah. Incisive in his extra ingenious passing and cautious in retention, Elliott added depth and high quality, giving life to Salah within the course of.

And Nunez, he instils worry into opposition backlines. His want and intelligence in his motion will finally give Salah extra wiggle room.

 

A phrase on that midfield efficiency and ANOTHER damage

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara (C) is consoled by team-mates after sustaining a hamstring injury during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LEWIS: Whereas Thiago and Fabinho weren’t at their finest, Henderson’s shortcomings are maybe slightly extra evident to the attention on this tweaked system.

An entire lack of composure led to quite a lot of turnovers, which means any grip on the sport could be short-lived.

AARON: The midfield trio had been appalling, frankly. I misplaced depend of the second balls misplaced, whereas none appeared able to dictating the tempo of the sport… one thing you’ve come to count on of Thiago particularly.

And on Henderson, he improved barely when dropped into the No. 6 position however that’s not saying a lot.

JOANNA: You anticipated a Thiago damage sooner or later this season but it surely coming this early is a blow, however I nonetheless don’t see Klopp pushing for a brand new face as he’ll sense it’s a stop-gap with these presently on the sidelines anticipated to return with out an excessive amount of delay.

Undecided I utterly agree.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LUBO: There’s sufficient high quality in Naby, Hendo, Fabinho, Elliott, Carvalho, and Milner to get us by way of the damage disaster. On paper, we nonetheless have sufficient choices. A brand new signing isn’t needed as of but, for me. I’m not positive that the suitable participant is obtainable in the mean time.

LEWIS: I sit on the opposite aspect to you, Lubo. It’s in all probability time Liverpool dipped into the market. Though I agree with Klopp, we don’t want a stop-gap. However I would love Liverpool to be extra aggressive of their long-term targets. Lay some cash out for Jude Bellingham.

Liverpool will maybe want two midfielders within the subsequent 18 months, so there have to be another person appreciated by the membership.

AARON: I do worry we’ll pay the value for not re-enforcing in that engine room. The consensus appears to be the membership is ready for his or her major goal, who, like Lewis stated, we are able to solely presume is Bellingham.

Refusing to compromise and transfer for a second or third alternative has served us nicely previously however let’s not neglect it additionally threatened to derail a whole season in 2020/21.

Sure, we now have choices, however too a lot of them have chequered damage information and easily can’t be relied upon. I’d be stunned if we see any certainly one of Thiago, Jones or Chamberlain earlier than October which ought to actually immediate a re-think. I’d be much more stunned if we purchased somebody.

 

And Nunez or Firmino vs. Palace?

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Darwin Núñez (R) replaces Roberto Firmino during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JOANNA: I am keen on Bobby Firmino and I assumed he confirmed actually promising indicators in pre-season after wanting as if all of the video games and accidents caught as much as him final season.

I wouldn’t be stunned or upset to see him begin at Anfield however you do really feel Nunez has proven why he must be within the XI, from his motion to his goalscoring contributions.

He’s carried out what has been requested of him and he can create loads of hazard towards Palace, and who could be against seeing that?

LUBO: I agree, Joanna. As a lot as I really like Bobby, Nunez has to start out the following recreation. We’d like his presence, his energy and his positioning towards the sort of opposition.

Firmino will nonetheless be key, possibly they’ll strive utilizing him because the hyperlink between midfield and assault, the No. 10 position, maybe, he’s greater than succesful to play there. However I count on Darwin to start out and to attain, once more.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring his side's first goal to level the score 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LEWIS: One other vote for Nunez. Darwin has greater than earned his place within the beginning 11. You’ll be able to’t hold a £64m signing on the bench eternally. Firmino himself can also be not a foul choice from the bench.

AARON: I’ll make it 4 from 4! Nunez has to start out, no query. His two cameo appearances have proven what a handful he’ll be for defences.

The Uruguayan strikes me as considerably of a tough diamond however a striker that’s all the time going to be concerned. His motion is outstanding and his bodily presence is an actual asset.

On the flip aspect, Bobby’s affect seems to be waning. He nonetheless has a job to play however that’s more and more towards sure sides and/or setups. When the Reds are anticipated to dominate possession and be within the ascendancy, his lack of purpose risk comes into sharp focus.



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