Bass guitar

Liverpool more “bass guitar” than “heavy metal football” against Arsenal

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be worried about ‘their second-half performance’ against Arsenal, according to Gary Neville.

The Reds more than tied the Gunners in the first half but found themselves trailing 2-1 at the break after Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka struck either side of Darwin Nunez’s equaliser.

Roberto Firmino scored against the run of play in the second half to bring Liverpool level before Saka grabbed a deserved winner from the penalty spot to give a dominating Arsenal the three points.

Liverpool sit tenth in the Premier League table and are now 14 points behind leaders Arsenal with one game less.

Klopp ruled his side out of title contention after the defeat at the Emirates Stadium and Neville thought Liverpool ‘looked like a shadow of themselves’ in the second half.

Speaking on his sky sports podcast, Neville asked: “For Liverpool, is this a blow or is it a bit of a decline in terms of how they are at the moment?

“In the first half I think they reacted very well to an electric start. But I thought that second half was worrying for Liverpool. They looked like a shadow of themselves.

“Generally their performance in the second half will be a concern for Jurgen Klopp – not just the performance on the ball and the way they played, but also off the ball, their ability to be able to reach the ball, and press, and harass.

“There was a moment five or six years ago when Pochettino was at Tottenham, and obviously Klopp was at Liverpool, where I hadn’t seen aggression and chasing football, like that before.

“We knew that Jurgen Klopp came to this country with heavy metal football as a premise and principle, but it wasn’t heavy metal football (against Arsenal), it was like bass guitar.”

And Neville believes Liverpool have seemed to be ‘watching two or three yards’ for most of this season, but they have ‘enough credit in the bank that we don’t go wild’.

“They were really, really lethargic in the second half,” Neville added. “I would be worried if I was a Liverpool fan, manager or player in that second half.

“Listen, they have enough credit in the bank for this Liverpool team and this Liverpool manager. And this Liverpool manager has done the best job of any manager over the last six, seven years with what he has had to work in terms of budget compared to the rest.

“So they have enough credit in the bank that we don’t go wild saying, ‘It’s the end of Liverpool’. That’s not the case here, but there are concerns and worrying signs.

“It’s the energy and the appetite in the games that they’ve had over the last couple of years in terms of trying defending and pressing (that was the problem).

“They look two or three meters away, and two or three meters in football, that’s it. If you’re one yard away from a world-class player, that’s too much.

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