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In the midst of an otherwise perfect season, the 2-0 defeat away to Napoli in the first matchday of this seasons Champions League was jarring for this Liverpool side. Napoli were stubborn defensively and intelligent tactically and in the end, a close game was decided by a dubious penalty and a late goal. Given that Liverpool are the current champions of the competition this was a less than ideal start and it threw their home tie against Red Bull(RB) Salzburg into sharp focus.

Domestically Liverpool still have a 100% record and they currently sit at the top of the Premier League table with space to spare. With that said, however, performances from the Merseyside club have failed to impress at times. Their last match at the weekend was a case in point as Liverpool struggled to break down a stubborn and resolute Sheffield United side, in the end, a goalkeeper error handed the three points to Liverpool. With expectations having been raised by last seasons Champions League win there was a sense that this match took on huge importance for Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff.

Here though is the problem, RB Salzburg are not an opponent to take lightly! Having qualified automatically the Austrian champions are in the group stages of the Champions League for the first time but they are by no means inexperienced when it comes to European football. Last season they reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League and the year before they had gone one step further and got to the semi-final. This season they are under new management with the American coach Jesse Marsch having taken over from Marco Rose who moved in the summer to Borussia Monchengladbach. Marsch is an interesting coach who has been in the Red Bull system for some time having originally worked as head coach of New York Red Bulls before working last season as the assistant to Ralf Rangnick at RB Leipzig. He favours high-intensity vertical football and bears many similarities in terms of his game model to Jurgen Klopp.

In this tactical analysis, we will try to make sense of the 4-3 win for the home side.

To read the full tactical analysis of this match – click here

Artwork by @chapulana

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