Bury 0 - 0 Liverpool
A Liverpool preseason match took place this afternoon. Allegedly, at least, as the Reds faced off against League Two side Bury F.C. in a match that ended 0-0. While not a lot happened within the context of the 90 minutes, there were some key points to glean from Saturday’s lackadaisical preseason performance.
The first half actually showed a bit of promise early on. Liverpool set out with a clear directive to build up the attack through the left side of the pitch, and we’re doing so with relevant ease. The combination of Divock Origi, Curtis Jones, and Alberto Moreno was effective, getting at Bury’s defense. As the first half wore on, the limitations of Divock Origi’s ability on the wing began to show. Bury seemingly allowed him to have the ball on the left elbow of the box, daring him to have to play as a creator, a role that he inevitably failed at. While the likes of Ojo, Clyne, Milner, and Sturridge were making the far post runs, Origi’s crosses were unable to find them. In the opportunities where he took his man on, his shots were off and he often wasted the chance. Near the 30th minute mark, it was obvious that Liverpool were not going to score, and that disjointed the attack even further.
It seems like Origi’s future at Liverpool hinges on his ability to do things in wide-forward areas, and so far this preseason, he has been unable to impress. This match being no exception.
The sole positive of the first half is fully encompassed by all things Fabinho. What a player he is. A hefty disclaimer needs to be thrown out towards the level of opposition today, but that shouldn’t make you or anyone reign in your excitement over the player. The stats will show a few incomplete passes, and maybe he was dispossessed once or twice, but his quality is undeniable. His ability to quickly read a counter attack, place his massive frame in the way of the attack, knick the ball off the dribbler, and put a ball on to the feet of Liverpool attacker... Well, it’s simply beautiful. If you can’t tell, I’m quite excited about the footballer we have on our hands here.
The second half started with changes to every outfield position, notably seeing Andy Robertson, Adam Lallana, and Naby Keïta enter the side. By the 51st minute of the match, Bury had three goal line clearances. Maybe it was by then we knew how the match was going to end. Or maybe it was after Dominick Solanke’s 3rd missed chance we knew that this match wasn’t going to be anything more that a look into what most closed door scrimmages look like. Either way, the second half was nearly as dull and drab as the first. At least we’re not talking about Loris Karius.
Like the first half with Fabinho, the second did give Liverpool supporters an opportunity to witness the quality of one the newest additions to the side: Naby Keïta. In short, he’s very good. On the ball he’s got attitude and moves that even James Brown would have to applaud. Off the ball, he has the intelligence and hustle to effectively press the opposition into mistakes. On the few counter attacks the Reds had in the second half, he was making great runs and positively affecting the build up. He nearly had an assist on a chance that Solanke missed.
It was not an exciting game, not in the slightest. But as preseason marches on, and the would be first-teamers reach full fitness, some questions are beginning to formulate answers.
Up The Still Figuring It Out Reds.