Sky Sports pundit: This is why Liverpool struggle to beat smaller teams
By Matt Bullin
Man United legend Gary Neville has criticised Liverpool’s attacking players for being too static in their movement against smaller teams.
The 42-year-old also said the Reds need to improve on their ‘Plan A’ which is not working as well as it did earlier in the season.
Last time out Jurgen Klopp’s side battled to a 0-0 draw with Southampton at Anfield.
The Reds looked short of ideas in attack and did not create any real chances from open-play as the Saints sat back and absorbed much of the pressure created.
However, James Milner did spurn one golden chance, as he saw his effort from the spot brilliantly saved by Fraser Forster.
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The result failed to buck a trend of disappointing results for Liverpool against the so-called ‘lesser sides’ in the Premier League which has also seen them lose to the likes of Crystal Palace, Hull and Swansea since the turn of the year.
Speaking on Sky Sports 1’s Monday Night Football, as quoted by the Daily Mail, Neville was critical of Klopp’s Reds.
“[Liverpool] can’t beat lesser teams at home,” Neville said. “Teams that come out against them and are expansive [Liverpool] are OK, they can play the combinations and be quick on the break.
“People talk about ‘do they need a Plan B?’ Maybe actually improving on Plan A is something they’ve stopped doing.
“They have stopped making those little corner runs, those positions where they show and pinging people in on the edge of the box.
“When they don’t [make those runs] – they become static, safe and predictable and for me that’s the problem at the moment.”
Following the goalless draw with Southampton, Liverpool sit third in the Premier League, one point ahead of Man City in fourth, who have a game in hand.
Next up for Liverpool is a trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham next Sunday, before they host Middlesbrough at Anfield on the final day of the season.
If Klopp’s Reds can get three points in both those games, a top-four spot is guaranteed, and with it the prize Champions League football next year.
In other Liverpool news, Dermot Gallagher has delivered his verdict on Milner’s penalty miss.