Lallana Is Sorely Missed, Lack Of Plan B And Squad Depth – Talking Points From The Weekend Game

Late goals from Origi and Milner were all that Reds needed to secure a hard-fought win over Sunderland on Saturday evening. But Liverpool would be left ruing Coutinho’s injury as his absence could deal a huge blow on their mission for the season.

Sunderland had few chances but couldn’t make the best of them, and that hurt them at the end despite all the great defending work they put in at Anfield.

The clash sure had some takeaways, and here are some from Liverpool’s end.

Depth in squad saves the day for Liverpool


With Lallana and Sturridge unavailable for selection due to injuries, Liverpool were short of attacking options on the bench, with Origi the only potential substitute should there be a need for any in the course of the game.

And a little over half an hour, the Belgian was thrown into action following Coutinho’s untimely and forced exit. He couldn’t add any meaning to the attack to help break down a resilient Sunderland rearguard, until the 75th minute.

A moment of brilliance that saw him trick Watmore with some fine piece of stepovers was all that was needed to break the deadlock. The resulting strike sailed into Pickford’s net, and nobody believed Divock could find the back of the visitors’ goal from such a tight angle.

That such a difference had to come from Liverpool’s 3rd-choice striker says a lot of the quality in depth within Klopp’s rank. With a natural striker now having registered a goal for Liverpool since matchday 1, every outfield position have weighed in at least a goal this term. This could be the best squad in the land by far. Not the best starting XI, but the best squad.

Lallana is sorely missed


Since straining his groin during the last international break, the influential midfielder has been on the sidelines and won’t return until December 4, tentatively.

Against Southampton, Klopp’s charges lacked the creativity the England international offered in the middle of the park. Having played all of Liverpool’s 10 Premier League games prior to the international break, his 3 goals and 5 assists came handy, and so did his contributions.

Those well-timed runs, key passes and accurate shots from the midfielder weren’t available to trouble Sunderland. While Wijnaldum has filled up that right side of midfield and is a fine player, he just doesn’t come close to Lallana’s qualities.

Klopp can’t afford to be without Adam any longer. Coutinho is already out and there are doubts over Firmino after he was withdrawn towards the tail end of weekend’s game.

Lallana’s return will help ease the pressure that is bound to come with the losses of the Brazilians to an extent.

Liverpool still need a tactical plan B

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp chats to Divock Origi of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League

For more than 70 minutes, the hosts couldn’t make anything worthwhile of their possession and dominance. It was the same against Southampton, and teams are beginning to defend with every man behind the ball whenever they come up against Liverpool.

Manchester United and Burnley gave everyone else the hint, and Klopp hasn’t been able to find the proper solutions against these “bus-parking” sides.

His 4-3-3 formation isn’t yielding the desired results every time. Liverpool aren’t even able to play pressing football against these defensive teams as it’s almost needless.

A plan B tactic/formation must be deployed when teams are proving too stubborn to succumb to the normal plan, as individual moments of genius like Origi’s won’t be able to save the day every now and then.

Kevin Wimmer

Woeful Wimmer – The Best And The Worst Rated Tottenham Hotspurs Players vs Chelsea

Rafael Benitez

The Best And The Worst Rated Newcastle Players vs Blackburn Rovers