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Thiago adding to Liverpool problems as ‘samey’ midfield shackles Salah and Mane, claims Owen

04-Feb-2021, 09:47 pm

Thiago Alcantara Liverpool vs Man Utd Premier League 2020-21

Liverpool’s “samey” midfield has become a problem for Jurgen Kloppsays Michael Owen, with a lack of energy in the engine room forcingMohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to step in off the flanks.

At their best, Liverpool slice through rivals as wingers create space down the middle for passesand runs in behind.

Owen fears those qualities have deserted the Reds, with the1-0 defeat to Brighton seeing Klopp’s men fail to find the target in a third successive top-flight home gameand for a fifth time in seven outings.

For him, issues are being caused in the middle of the park, with Thiago Alcantara, Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner allsitting deep, winning the ball and moving it on.

“I often think that Mane when he plays, and Salah, they’re better when they start wide,” former Liverpool striker Owen told Premier League Productions.

“Think of the chance Salah had early on against Brighton, he needs to start wide and run inside. As soon as Roberto Firmino drops in it leaves those gaps and they come wide.

"A lot of the time this season they’ve been starting narrow and then you’ve got nowhere to run - the only way you can run is out and away from the goal.

“I think Liverpool are better when they have width. They get clustering. They have a lot of samey players in midfield in Thiago, Wijnaldum and Milner.

“I would like to see them stretching play a lot more, upping the tempo, winning the ball high again, committing players forward to win the ball high, they have to do it, they have to stem it themselves because they don’t have the Anfield crowd.

“You can react off the crowd, it’s a powerful thing but they can’t call upon that now they need to do it themselves to get this monkey off their back.

“It looks like there’s no energy in the team. Liverpool are used to winning the ball high, keeping the energy up, keeping a high tempo game. All of a sudden now it’s just not the Liverpool I’m used to watching, they rarely hunt in packs any more. It’s just not what we’re used to at the minute and they need to find something quick.”

Liverpool need to find inspiration as their next outing is at hometo leaders Manchester City,a side they sit seven points behind despite playing a game more.

Owen added on the Reds’ title chances: “Yeah, at the moment, it’s seven points and a game in hand what City have got. That’s a lot, we’re past halfway.


Source : goal.com

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