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Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s Victory Over Blackpool

With a victory over Blackpool in the books, we dig a little deeper into what it means for Liverpool.

Liverpool v Blackpool - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool has defeated Blackpool 7-2 in their last preseason friendly ahead of the start of the Premier League season next weekend. Did you know that Liverpool had a preseason friendly today? It’s okay if you didn’t. I only found out about this thing like two days ago. That’s because this friendly was thrown together last minute and truly doesn’t matter!

Liverpool were without their entire first choice backline because of international duty, and things started a bit weird. Blackpool actually started the match really well and took advantage of the awkward lineup that Jurgen Klopp put out. By the 33rd minute Neil Critchley’s League One side was up 2-0 on the Premier League Champions. The first goal came from Blackpool countering off of some sloppy possession from the Reds. The second was a penalty, given because Alisson decided to absolutely clear out someone on the edge of his own box. Liverpool was able to pull one back right before half thanks to Joel Matip’s towering header.

That’s about where the fun stopped for Blackpool. I’m not going to bore you with the details of how Liverpool scored six second half goals. The best way that I can sum up what happens was to broadly gesture towards Takumi Minamino either directly creating goals or creating the chances that led to the goals. More on him in a bit.

All in all it was a nice runout for some of the squad depth. Even Harvey Elliot scored. That’s fun. Now, let’s talk about some of the things we saw in this one.

Formation change could save legs

Klopp had Liverpool playing in a 4-2-3-1 for most of the game. It makes sense given that the team was missing Andy Robertson & Trent Alexander-Arnold, the first choice fullbacks. Even their deputies are away on international duty, so Ki-Jana Hoever and James Milner played in those positions. The formation change meant Liverpool could have an extra attacker on the pitch in form of Minamino. This meant that the creativity didn’t rely so heavy on the fullbacks, and Liverpool could drive the ball with any of the front three or Minamino. It worked well. It also allowed Naby Keita to pick up the ball in deeper areas of the pitch whilst also having more passing options in front of him. All of this was very similar to the second half last week against Arsenal in the Community Shield.

Having this formation in his bag of tricks should help Klopp this season, both tactically and managing players’ legs.

Minamino is no Ringo Starr

Did you know that the Beatles are from Liverpool? The same city that also hosts our favorite football team? Crazy!

Anyways, Minamino is really, really good. He’s not a passenger in this squad. He offers a bonafide fourth attacking option when the front three isn’t clicking or, as mentioned above, when Klopp needs to change the formation. Today he played as the #10 and also out wide. His movement and passing are crisp. He’s very intelligent and I feel like we’ll be hearing a lot this season about how insanely low his transfer fee was.

Look at how freaking big this gator is

This has absolutely nothing to do with the match, but I need everyone to look at how huge this gator is. An absolute unit. A massive lad.

Anyways, up the preseason Reds. We go for real next Saturday.

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