Liverpool were once again woeful in the attacking third of the pitch in the 1-0 defeat against Brighton last night, leading many to search for the cause of the problems.
The absence of Sadio Mane from the starting lineup was one factor which many supporters on Twitter pointed to when assessing the Reds’ lack of threat in forward areas:
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees we do miss him
— Antonetha Thomas (@LfcAround) February 3, 2021
Hope he’s ok for City
— Capture The Moment (@simononeill1971) February 3, 2021
Robbo looks half the player without him
— Antony Bonner (@antbon1978) February 3, 2021
Yes , no width on the left
— Nick (@NICKEIR) February 3, 2021
Every night he’s not playing….
— Henrik Lundstrom🤦🏻♂️ (@Hankdylan) February 3, 2021
Liverpool down, no mane, no party…
— Robert Ese ✝️ (@RobertEse101) February 3, 2021
We’ve such a thin squad in terms of high quality. Really exposed.
— JC (@jamescooke49) February 3, 2021
we should have better squad depth, instead we bring origi on every game, praying for an impact
— Josh Dishman (@joshdishman14) February 3, 2021
It must be pointed out, though, that, even with Mane, Liverpool laboured versus teams who have chosen to sit deep and counter-attack against them. It’s a worrying trend which has all but ended their title hopes this season.
After the game, last night, an image of the players’ average positions showed how narrow they played. Klopp’s teams have been most successful when using the width of the fullbacks and that clearly isn’t happening currently.
It’s likely a knock-on effect from the problems at the back. The centre-halves need to be protected more so the back four sit deeper in general, leading to the fullbacks being far less likely to get forward. Whether Klopp can now change things with the signings of Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies, we shall see.