Remember when Liverpool was the best team on the planet? Those days were fun.
And now a distant memory.
The Reds are struggling to find their form in the Premier League. Goals have shriveled up like an old man’s penis in cold water.
Today, Liverpool try to break out of their funk against Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round.
Jurgen Klopp looks to shake his squad awake by shifting the formation to a 4-4-2 today. Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah go up top with a four-man midfield of Thiago, James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones hoping to create chances.
Will it work? Can’t be any worse!
Actually goes to more of a 4-3-3 early with Jones shifting to Mane’s spot. Frustrating half for the Reds. They go up 1-0 after a perfect through ball by Firmino is clinically finished by Salah. However, Marcus Rashford finds Mason Greenwood soon thereafter to make it 1-1 at the half.
The second half is a goal fest. Salah gets a brace. Greenwood hooks Rashford up. It’s 2-2 when…Edinson Cavani dives outside the box, setting up a free kick that Bruno Fernades and his bulging eyeballs convert to put Man U up 3-2.
Again, if Salah or Mane fell like Cavani did, they would be shredded by the English press. Cavani will be heralded as clever. It was a bullshit dive.
Man U win 3-2 in the end. Liverpool are simply lost.
Liverpool Player Starting XI vs Manchester United FA Cup
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Manchester United FA Cup
Jurgen Klopp (5) –
Shakes up his formation to a 4-4-2 in hopes of generating more goals. I mean, at least he tried something different. But he’s just not solving the squad’s issues.
Alisson (4) –
A bit off. Caught out of position on Greenwood’s equalizer. Among his poorer games in Engladn.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (5) –
Looking better. Juuuust misses a direct kick. Then starts to slip defensively. Just no consistency minute-to-minute.
Rhys Williams (3) –
With Hendo hurt, the teen-ager gets the call today. Decent first-half (winning lots of aerials), but costly error puts Man U up 2-1. His worst showing on the senior team.
Fabinho (4) –
Not in form today. Yellow carded. Sloppy first half. His penalty on Cavini (despite it being a bullshit dive) cost the Reds the match.
Andy Robertson (6) –
Pushing further and further up pitch with overlapping runs. However, loses Greenwood on the equalizer. Best of the backline which doesn’t say much.
Thiago (6) –
Best of the midfield in the first half. Winning tackles and great link up. Off a little in the second half. Slopp turnover to Pogba and recovery that leads to a shot on target. Subbed off in the 81st. Feels like Liverpool’s shitty play is rubbing off by osmosis on him. His worst showing overall.
Gini Wijnaldum (5) –
Fairly meh game. Subbed out in the 61st for Mane.
James Milner (6) –
Fairly pedestrian first half. Excellent dummy on Bobby’s ball to Mo on the 2-2 equalizer.
Curtis Jones (8) –
Slotted in mid but shifts to Mane’s wing spot. Good turns and pushing forward well (frankly better than his frontline mates). So confident on ball–touch is pure. No goal or assist in the first half but was Liverpool’s best attacker. Does shift to midfield when Mane comes on.
Mo Salah (8) –
A perfect chip finish on Firmino’s through ball puts Liverpool up 1-0. Interestingly, no joy in that goal. Not the old smiling assassin celebration. Interesting. Easy finish on his brace. Seems to energize him some as he’s getting off more shots as the game goes on.
Roberto Firmino (7.5) –
Oh my. Bobby’s through ball to Salah for the opening goal was a genuine thing of beauty. Bobby links Mo up again to equalize the match 2-2. Brought off for Origi late, not sure why.
Sadio Mane (5) –
On in the 61st for Gini. Yellow carded and ineffective.
Xherdan Shaqiri (NR) –
On in the 81st for Thaigo.
Divock Origi (NR) –
On late for some hopeful heroics.
MAN OF THE MATCH
A joyless Mo Salah gets the nod today for his brace. Although overall Jones was the man today.