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Match Reports


20 October 2018

Match Reports


20 October 2018

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Town put up a tremendously spirited effort but came up just short as a sole Mohamed Salah strike secured a narrow 1-0 victory for Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool.

Egyptian winger Salah toe-poked a first-half winner in off the post for last season's Champions League finalists - the Reds' first real sight on goal - and the Merseysiders were made to work superbly hard for the points as the Terriers pushed for large quantities without a richly deserved reward.

The starting XI witnessed just the one change on the back of the 1-1 draw at Burnley prior to the international break. Florent Hadergjonaj replaced Rajiv van La Parra in a tactical reshuffle which saw Erik Durm switch to the left full-back position, and Chris Löwe to the left of the central defensive unit alongside Zanka and Turf Moor goalscorer Christopher Schindler.

Almost immediately it was evident that the Town game plan was going to be similar to that executed for the visit of Spurs in September. Pressing the ball with purpose, whilst keeping a somewhat degree of rigidness as the high-flying opponents looked to implement a quick threat on the break with the outlets of Salah and Shaqiri.

In possession, it was the men in blue and white who once again started with a spring in their steps. Confidently building through the midfield in the hunt to snatch an imperative early lead.

An incredible noise rung around the John Smith's Stadium on a perfect Autumnal Saturday evening, as the contest had many a difference from the last meeting between the two sides, which the Reds won 3-0.

Town's intentions to hound its Merseyside counterparts was thoroughly giving that atmosphere an even bigger boost. Laurent Depoitre the man to lead the charge, sprinting to halt Alisson from clearing his lines, and the Belgian's work came unrewarded as a sensationally passionate block trickled marginally wide.

The nation watched on as the game was an exciting, end-to-end tussle. On the defensive end, the Terriers were just as determined; Erik Durm took a hefty blow to the face for his troubles whilst racing out to block Joe Gomez's long-range strike on the edge of the area.

Despite having caused next to zero issues for the Town rear-guard in the opening 25 minutes, Liverpool turned on the style to bring about the opening goal of the game.

A simple pass in-field from Joe Gomez found Xherdan Shaqiri in a generous amount of space to drive forward, and the Swiss winger played an accurately weighted pass into the path of Mohamed Salah who in turn prodded past the on-rushing Jonas Lössl to hand the Anfield Club the advantage.

The reigning Premier League Player of the Year netted what could well have been described as a highly undeserved opener on the balance of play, but it was always well documented that Liverpool's threat could emerge at any given opportunity, especially when presented with a useful patch of the field to work in.

Spirits were hardly dampened. Jonathan Hogg had the post to thank for keeping out a thundering 30-yard drive.

Still, Town refused to lay down and feel sorry for themselves. Attacks continued to flow down either channel with that desired end product just lacking in the final third, as the impressive Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren repelled a large number of balls headed their way.

Philip Billing curled a peach of a free-kick inches wide, albeit whilst having Alisson scrambling to ensure he was in a position to potentially deal with the set-piece situation.

The Dane followed up with a barnstorming surge down the left. Florent Hadergjonaj's initial break found Depoitre, and Lolo spun to play in Billing who attempted to beat Gomez. The England international managed to nick the ball away at the last second as Philip looked to pull the trigger.

Half-time approached and the visitors were rocked despite being a goal to the good.

Firstly, referee Michael Oliver waved away Town claims for a penalty as Jonathan Hogg lifted the ball back into the danger area, and Jürgen Klopp's side would be saved by the linesman's flag as Alex Pritchard was adjudged to have been offside despite producing a tidy finish past Alisson.

The second period began as the first had concluded. A long Billing throw met by the head of Chris Schindler couldn't be forced goalward by Depoitre in a tangle with James Milner.

Town pressed on yet again. Depoitre cushioned a header into the grasp of Alisson stemming from a pinpoint Florent Hadergjonaj delivery from the right.

Liverpool hadn't been the side to dominate possession, and in fact largely stood off the Terriers. The only threat came on the break, and Salah hunted a second after receiving interval substitute Georginio Wijanaldum's splitting pass through the centre. The Egpytian hacked wide after a good touch had taken him a yard clear of the covering Chris Löwe.

A double introduction of Steve Mounié and Isaac Mbenza aimed to spark even more life to what was already a spirited Town effort to haul themselves level.

72 minutes in and the visitors had definitely had a battle on their hands; Chris Schindler did exceptionally well to slide Andy Robertson's low cross away from danger as Daniel Sturridge and that man Salah lurked to prod home a killer second.

Town's best chance of the half to equalise agonisingly came and went in the blink of an eye. Steve Mounié somehow hooked over into the cowshed from close range after seeing the ball kindly drop in the area following a mis-cued clearance from Lovren; a let-off of all let-offs for Klopp's men who were, in truth, lucky to be ahead.

It had been a real determined effort and each and every person associated with the Club would have been relatively pleased with the application. The penny just wouldn't drop on another occasion where the performance had more than warranted at the very least a share of the spoils.

Firmino blasted over seconds before the duration, and despite a sustained period of pressure from the blue and whites, which included Laurent Depoitre not able to turn in Adama Diakhaby's run and cut-back from the by-line, Liverpool hung on to secure all three points.

Town return to action next Saturday as the Club travels to Vicarage Road to face Watford (Saturday 27 October, 3pm).


Jonas Lössl; Erik Durm, Chris Löwe, Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka, Florent Hadergjonaj (Isaac Mbenza, 70'); Philip Billing (Steve Mounié, 70'), Jonathan Hogg (c)(Adama Diakhaby, 90'), Aaron Mooy; Alex Pritchard, Laurent Depoitre


Ben Hamer, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Juninho Bacuna, Rajiv van La Parra


Alisson Becker; Andrew Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez; James Milner (Roberto Firmino, 79'), Jordan Henderson (c)(Georginio Wijnaldum, 46'), Adam Lallana (Fabinho, 69'); Xherdan Shaqiri, Daniel Sturridge, Mohamed Salah


Simon Mignolet, Joël Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Divock Origi


Michael Oliver



*Map shows average location of Town's players

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