Matchday 9 Analysis
Well that was ugly, no two ways about it. The Reds took the pitch for the first time in 13 days in Yorkshire at bottom three side Huddersfield Town. The match pitted two old time friends as managers against each other as Jurgen Klopp took on the best man at his wedding (and USA international) David Wagner. The Reds lineup saw a few changes with Adam Lallana taking the place of Sadio Mane who was injured on international duty. Xherdan Shaqiri got his second premier league start for the Reds, playing in a number 10 role like he did against Southampton. Daniel Sturridge also made his first Premier League start for Liverpool since last November, in the place of Roberto Firmino.
The match started off contentiously, with the Terriers playing tenaciously and pressing the Reds all over the pitch. Liverpool looked a bit sluggish in the opening 20 minutes, but the breakthrough came. Joe Gomez, who was playing at Right back, played a sensational ball to Shaqiri who slotted to Mohamed Salah and the Egyptian beat Terrier keeper Lössl with his right foot off the post and into the net. That piece of play was really the only remarkable thing that Liverpool mustered in the match.
Huddersfield continued their press after the goal and through the second half, as they were searching for their first goal at home in this premier league campaign. The Terriers just could not find the net, and the Reds played adequate defense for much of the game, but Wagner will feel his side should have capitalized on at least one of the chances that they created. The second half was largely spent with Liverpool soaking up the pressure from the home side and not a whole lot else. Fabinho got to make his Premier League debut for Liverpool as a substitute and he looked comfortable, albeit in a 20 minute cameo.
The Reds finish matchday 9 as joint top of the table with incumbents Manchester City, but behind on goal difference. Many fans of the Reds have to be flabbergasted how they’ve managed to keep such a great point total, while playing below par. Much of the season has been characterized by frenetic passages of play and extremely slow buildup and somehow Liverpool still find themselves in a great position with much of the season left to play. All Liverpool can hope to do is figure out the intricate play that made them so lethal last season and carry on the undefeated premier league record as long as they can. The Reds have a midweek match against Serbian side Red Star Belgrade in Champions League play, and hopefully they can sort some of their issues out then.