Liverpool endured a disappointing Saturday afternoon as we were beaten by arch-rivals Manchester United 2-1 in the Premier League.
Dejan Lovren made two massive mistakes and United punished us severely, with Marcus Rashford scoring twice in the first-half. Lovren was twice beaten in the air by United striker Romelu Lukaku, who is known for his physicality. Our Croatian centre-back was bullied by Lukaku, who simply had an excellent game, to say the least.
Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino is very surprised that Jurgen Klopp didn’t make tactical changes and never switched Virgil van Dijk to the other side to man-mark Lukaku instead.
“Having watched Lovren struggle early on I was amazed that Virgil [van Dijk] — a £75million defender — didn’t switch and try to stop Lukaku,” Cascarino wrote in his column for The Times.
“I had so many defenders swap during the game to try to mark me and give me a different challenge.
“Liverpool needed Van Dijk to show he is a leader at the back and take charge of the situation. The Belgium striker is becoming a big-game player; Liverpool need Van Dijk to do the same.”
It was indeed naïve from Klopp to not switch Lovren and Van Dijk. Lovren has clearly struggled to cope with strong and robust centre-forwards since joining the Reds. The same thing happened on Saturday with the Croatian having a miserable time against Lukaku.
Our manager should have spotted it when we conceded the first goal because of Lukaku’s flick. Van Dijk is more commanding in the air than Lovren and the Dutchman could have been the ideal man to mark Lukaku.
What’s lost cannot be brought back and so it is wise to move on from the defeat against United. Klopp seriously needs to make bold decisions while selecting his defenders.
The Lovren-Van Dijk partnership has done very well in the recent few weeks and let us hope that the duo comes out on top against Watford. Time to pick ourselves up and bounce back with a win on Saturday.