Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has revealed how a quick tactical nudge from Jurgen Klopp at half-time proved crucial against Arsenal.
The Reds went into the half-time interval a goal up thanks to Joel Matip’s header just before the break, but they wasted little time in putting the game to bed in the second half.
Mohamed Salah scored from the penalty spot in the 49th minute before doubling his tally less than 10 minutes later, while Lucas Torreira grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors late on.
Speaking after the game, Alexander-Arnold offered some brilliant insight into Klopp’s managerial qualities and tactical brain while watching the game unfold, as he adjusted the way in which Liverpool went on the attack slightly and got instant results.
“The gaffer showed us a bit of [footage] at half-time and we could stretch them, with Mo, Bobby and Sadio [Mane], and get it into feet,” Alexander-Arnold said, as quoted by The Express. “They probably set up knowing that we were going to cross it, they were ready.
“[Against] other teams we try to create the yard and cross it from in front. The gaffer said to us at half-time, if we get a runner down we can get the ball down the outside.
“[For Salah’s first], Hendo takes the ball out the way and I’m able to play it into Bobby and we got the pen.
“That was the idea, to drag a centre-half out and not allow them to stay in and head the ball away.”
It’s those little tweaks and moments of decisive management that can make all the difference when it really matters, and while Liverpool would arguably have gone on to win the game anyway, it was a weakness or alteration that Klopp spotted and got his instructions over to the players clearly to exploit it.
That is yet another really impressive facet of his managerial skills, and time will tell whether or not it results in more major trophies this season but his’s great news for Liverpool fans that the coach and players have that understanding and can put it into practice in big games.