On the evidence of Wednesday night’s tepid performance against Liverpool, it would be easy to think that Middlesbrough might just be the worst side in the Premier League this season. It would be unfair, though, not to give Liverpool at least some of the credit for that.
The visiting Reds held the ball for two-thirds of the match, doubled their opponents shot count, and snapped quickly into tackles any time they lost the ball. Middlesbrough may have looked the worst side in the Premier League, but Liverpool played a key role in that.
“It’s not too far off it,” midfielder Adam Lallana said when asked if his side had put in a complete performance against Middlesbrough. “But the manager has already said to us there are things we can improve on, so I’m sure over the next few days we’ll have a look at things.
“We needed to move the ball quicker at times and take less touches. At times we can maybe get a bit carried away and all of us maybe want to attack when we need to protect a bit more. That can be a good thing, but at times, if you get too carried away, they can counter.”
Though Liverpool at times were guilty of too many touches and an imbalanced side in the first half, they improved in the second, going from better to dominant and pulling away, and Lallana’s reflections on the match speak to some of Jürgen Klopp’s halftime adjustments.
“In the second half, I thought it was a lot better,” he noted. “We could have got the goals earlier, but we were patient and didn’t let that faze us. In the end, I think 3-0 was a fair result.