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Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United: 5 Talking Points | Premier League 2020-21

Liverpool v Sheffield United - Premier League
Liverpool v Sheffield United - Premier League
Harsh Pillai
ANALYST
Modified 25 Oct 2020, 12:21 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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An early lead for Sheffield United was not enough as defending champions Liverpool came back from one-goal down to win the game 2-1 at Anfield, courtesy of goals from Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

A defensive lapse from Fabinho in the 13th minute of the game gifted Chris Wilder's men a penalty, which was dispatched by Sander Berge into the bottom corner, beating Alisson Becker. It was a dream start for any side coming into Anfield, however, Sheffield was only able to hold on till the 41st minute.

Roberto Firmino pounced on a rebound from Sadio Mané's header to make it 1-1 for Liverpool, few minutes before the half time whistle.

Liverpool had the momentum coming into the second half, and they made sure they were on the front foot throughout the next 45 mins. Eventually, it was Diogo Jota scoring an immaculate header in the 64th minute which proved to be the winner.

On that note, let's dive into the five talking points from a fixture which proved to be a tough for either side; a smash-and-grab encounter.


#5 Virgil van Dijk already proving to be a huge loss for Liverpool

Liverpool v Sheffield United - Premier League
Liverpool v Sheffield United - Premier League

A defensive midfielder playing centre-back alongside a 23-year-old centre-back is not the most ideal scenario for a team defending their Premier League title, but Jürgen Klopp has found himself in a position where he has to manage and get the best out of what he has.

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Not having Virgil van Dijk was a blessing for Sheffield United, who rely on their aerial adeptness to overload the box, put regular crosses, win headers and score scrappy goals consistently.

While the centre-back pairing of Joe Gomez and Fabinho was incredibly efficient on the ground, making 14 clearances, the duo only won a combined 10 aerial duels throughout the 90 minutes, 3 less than Oliver McBurnie (13). The Reds face Michail Antonio's West Ham next weekend, a player (if fit) who would be counting the days until he gets to bully a weakened Liverpool defence.


#4 Sheffield United's strength from last season is now their weakness

Liverpool v Sheffield United - Premier League
Liverpool v Sheffield United - Premier League

Sheffield United, in their first season in the Premier League after being promoted, kept a staggering 13 clean sheets throughout the campaign; third-most in the 2019-20 season. 6 games into the 2020-21 season and Chris Wilder's men are without a clean sheet. They are struggling to keep things tight at the back as his defenders continue to underperform.

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The long term injury to Sheffield United's best centre-back, Jack O'Connell, hasn't helped their cause either as Chris Wilder has stated that the 26-year-old could be out for the whole season.

Wilder had worked magic last season with the squad he had at his disposal, and now it's time he rewinds it as Sheffield United are 19th in the Premier League, waiting for a miracle to happen.

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Published 25 Oct 2020, 12:21 IST
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