Ex-Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes that the absence of Thiago Alcantara hampered Liverpool’s efforts to create clearcut chances against Crystal Palace.
The pundit claims that, without the Spaniard in the middle of the pitch, the Reds are forced to focus on deliveries from wide areas in order to generate shooting opportunities:
“Getting the ball through midfield, I think they’re struggling with that. Harvey Elliott didn’t have any space to really move in. To try and move the ball into areas where they can commit players in the middle and force their way in. Everything of Liverpool has to go out wide. Without Thiago, we see when Thiago’s not playing they’re not as potent. And they need that midfielder to get the ball into areas where they commit players. That’s what they missed.”
It’s a fair point made by Wright. Even before Darwin Nunez’s red card, his teammates were hitting too many early crosses, while they also tried to stretch the play with a number of diagonal balls to Mo Salah.
Considering they spent most of the second half against Palace down to ten men, it’s hard to gauge how things would have gone if it had stayed 11 v 11, but Liverpool are certainly weaker without Thiago.
The Spaniard is expected to miss at least a month of the season due to a hamstring injury, meaning he could miss around four to five more matches.