Liverpool’s dangerously high-line came back to haunt them on several occasions last season but now it could be here to stay. The tactic was put to use once again in pre-season as the Reds drew their second mini-friendly 1-1 with Stuttgart this evening in Austria.
Ibrahima Konate was making his first appearance in his new colours following his £34m switch from RB Leipzig earlier this summer.
It’s already crystal clear that Jurgen Klopp will be looking to use his pace across the ground to Liverpool’s advantage and his attributes could be the weapon to help the Reds master their aggressive backline.
Things didn’t go exactly to plan for the Frenchman though in the opening exchanges of his unofficial debut…
Chelsea transfer target Sasa Kalajdzic dragged him wide of the penalty area and the run created the space for the Austrian to backheel into the pathway of Philipp Forster, who rifled home the opener for Stuttgart.
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The high line does not seem a problem when Konate eats up the ground and sweeps up.
It allows Liverpool to press higher up the pitch and try and win the ball back deep into the opposition half.
Konate will take time to adapt to his new surroundings, particularly until he plays with the likes of Van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
Today he partnered Rhys Williams in defence and besides the goal, Liverpool looked reasonably solid in defence.
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When Fabinho is back screening the defence and Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson return, memories of last season will be a thing of the past.
Harvey Elliott also impressed and his sharpness and energy really caught the eye following his return to Liverpool.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also given a chance to play as a false-nine and he too looked bright.
This was a chance for Liverpool to dust off the cobwebs and a separate XI had previously taken to the field for the 1-1 draw against FC Wacker Innsbruck.
Divock Origi was on target in that game from the penalty spot before the Austrian side fought back to draw.