Football

Liverpool looking to bounce back after set piece problems

Luis Suarez left frustrated after Old Trafford defeat  (©GettyImages)
Luis Suarez left frustrated after Old Trafford defeat (©GettyImages).

Liverpool's recent loss to arch rivals Manchester United in the Capital One Cup this week, was their second consecutive 1-0 defeat.

After a faultless start to the season, their form has taken a dip, and last weekend's home defeat to Southampton is one they will want to forget. 

So what is the difference between the early part of this season compared to the last two matches?

For one, the loss of Philippe Coutinho, who had to be substituted at Swansea and remains on the sideline through injury. Liverpool have not been the same since.

They immediately lost the creativeness that the little Brazilian magician brings to the side, and that was something they sorely lacked in the second half against Southampton. 

With the return of Luis Suarez, some of the creativity was restored on Wednesday. They were making opportunities, but were unable to capitalise on those. Daniel Sturridge has usually been the man to rely on for Liverpool this season, but even he failed to score against United.

Although they came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, the fact remains that they lost 1-0 and are now eliminated from the Capital One Cup.

In the match against United, they took a total of 17 shots, with only three of those shots being on target. United was the same, but had one major difference. They got one past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Not only that, they got their goal early in the second half, much like Southampton.

In both matches, Liverpool had the majority of possession. Liverpool had 55% of possession against Southampton and 53% against Manchester United, but lacking a killer instinct in the final third, this ultimately meant nothing. 

Both their recent defeats have been caused by some poor defending at set pieces. Two corners have been Liverpool's undoing this week, contrasting fortunes from their opening few games where they managed three clean sheets on the bounce. 

Manager Brendan Rodgers will have much to think about for Liverpool's upcoming match against Sunderland, and no doubt improving their fortunes when defending corners will be a priority. 

Facing a Sunderland side still reeling from the departure of former manager Paolo Di Canio, it would be no surprise to see Liverpool snatch another 1-0 victory this weekend. 

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Topics:
Liverpool
Football
Premier League

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