In the first encounter of Liverpool and RB Salzburg at Anfield back in October, the home side managed to score three goals in 36 minutes. Amazingly, Salzburg equalised the scoreline in just 25 minutes, with young sensation Erling Braut Håland’s scoring their third goal. Nine minutes later, Mohamed Salah scored past Cican Stanković to guarantee the win for Liverpool.
Two months later, both sides meet once again, now at the Red Bull Arena. This time Salzburg needed a win to give them a chance going to the knockout stage. In the other side, Liverpool just needed a draw to advance to the next round of this season’s UEFA Champions League. A seven-goal thriller in their first meeting boosted the hype even further.
At the end of the night, Liverpool managed a convincing away win and reached the knockout stage as the Group E leader. Clever tactics deployed by Jürgen Klopp was the secret behind The Reds’ 0–2 victory. In the other side, Jesse Marsch was unable to respond to Klopp’s tactical adjustments, especially in the second half – therefore giving Salzburg a ticket to the Europa League. This tactical analysis will inform how the match unfolded.
On paper, Marsch chose 4–3–1–2 for his team, which slightly changed to a 4–1–3–2 on the field. Jérôme Onguéné and Maximilian Wöber started in the heart of the defence while Zlatko Junuzović provided defensive support in front of them. Japanese Takumi Minamino played as an attacking midfielder just behind the duo of Håland and Hwang Hee-chan.
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