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Klopp Explains Change of Strategy That Won the Merseyside Derby

The Liverpool manager talked about how he changed his team formation at halftime in order to beat Everton.

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Frank Lampard brought his Everton team to Anfield with the intention of parking the bus, disrupting play, wasting time, and leaving with a draw and one more crucial point. In the first half, the plan looked to be working. The Reds, despite a massive amount of possession, couldn’t break through the sheer number of players that Everton had behind the ball.

The teams went into the locker rooms at a stalemate at halftime, but then things changed in the second half.

When asked to rely exactly what he’d tweaked over the break, Jürgen Klopp patiently detailed the strategy and his reasoning behind it.

There is one area where we scored the goals, which is behind the last line and I don’t think we showed up there at all in the first half, to be honest,” said Klopp.

“We played around the formation. It’s really difficult. We had something like 87% possession in the first half, but it was really difficult because of the counter-attacking threat they have. If they (Everton) have one thing, it is real speed up front and Anthony Gordon is obviously a real talent and really quick and we had our problems there.”

The halftime strategy session was explained by Klopp.

“So we showed one situation and stopped it eight times and what we could have done differently in the specific moments: accelerations, playing half-spaces, getting behind the line, even chipping balls behind the line, because we played around and then in the centre, and in the centre they had more legs than us.

“Against a deep formation, you can have too many players behind the ball. We have a lot of passers but not a lot of receivers. The receivers only really move when they see they can get the ball, but you need these movements without getting the ball to destruct the formation a little bit and we didn’t do that often enough first half.”

It certainly didn’t hurt that he had the likes of Diogo Jota, Divock Origi, and Jordan Henderson to bring on in order to shift the play to his liking.

That three points once again brings Liverpool within only a single point of Manchester City. Liverpool and City are continuing their cat-and-mouse game deep into April, even as they also face competition in the Champions League semi-finals.