Stamford Bridge

Next Game

Chelsea v Man City

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Etihad Stadium

Last Game

Man City 0 - 2 M'boro

Saturday, 24 January 2015, 15:00

The FA Cup Fourth Round

Carra worried by Reds defence

Jamie Carragher is concerned that Liverpool’s new-look back four have failed to function effectively in the opening games of the season.

Last Updated: 26/08/14 at 11:55 Post Comment

Lovren: struggled to get to grips with the Manchester City forwards

Lovren: struggled to get to grips with the Manchester City forwards

Brendan Rodgers spent £20million on Southampton centre-half Dejan Lovren and also signed Alberto Moreno from Sevilla this summer, but the duo struggled in the 3-1 defeat at Manchester City on Monday night.

Carragher believes Lovren needs to justify his transfer fee and step up in high-profile matches, but said his positional play let him down several times at the Etihad Stadium, just as it did in the home win over Southampton last week.

“He didn’t play well,” said the former Liverpool centre-half on Monday Night Football.

“The whole back four never really functioned well and there were problems down that side with Moreno coming in for his first game. He has had a difficult night with Moreno on that side.

“Is it a one-off tonight in terms of the positions they’ve taken up or is it something that Lovren does a lot? They have got to come over and fill the space.

“We saw it with the Southampton goal last week and it’s got to change - and change very quickly. Last week, when Lovren moved, Martin Skrtel never moved his position and there was a big space.

“That happened all night tonight. It wasn’t so much in the central areas, it was more between the centre-back and the left-back.

“It’s basic back-four work and it’s something that Liverpool are going to have to work on because if it happens a lot in this league, you’re going to get punished.”

Carragher is concerned that many of the defensive issues that cost Liverpool in the title race last season have not been rectified – and it could cost them a Champions League spot this term.

He added: “Liverpool were so close to Man City last year and you don’t want to go to your rivals early on and get a good beating, which it was tonight. It was 3-1, but it could have been 4-1 or 5-1.

“There were problems that we spoke about a lot that last season that cost Liverpool the title in the end. After two games, they have already conceded four goals and it’s something they are going to have to rectify.

“People are saying they’re not in for the title. I still think they’re one of the best sides in the league, but they can’t continue conceding goals like that.

“They’re going to have extra games and there’s no Suarez as well. The top four is going to be a fight for them as well this season.”

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville agreed that Liverpool have problems defensively and that the new players need to get used to playing together.

But he said the issues can be easily resolved on the training pitch in the coming weeks.

“Liverpool never really had the tightness of Manchester City’s back four,” Neville said.

“It’s down to training and I suppose you could argue that City’s back four have played together for six months and Brendan Rodgers has got a new back four.

“It’s obvious and it’s a good thing for Liverpool that the problems are there and you can see them. Tonight, generally the problems were between Moreno and Lovren.

“Last week, you saw space develop between Skrtel and Lovren. These are things that are very easily rectified by video work, work on the training pitch and getting used to each other.”

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

H

opefully Jose turns up to the game wearing a T-Shirt with Costa's face on, that's the classy thing to do in these situations right?

Petulant_Radish
Costa loses appeal

C

onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

poolshortsdown
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Burnley reiterate Ings stance

Burnley have denied reports Liverpool could sign striker Danny Ings and loan him back to the Clarets for the rest of the season, stating such a move would be against Premier League rules.

Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers praises former Red Stewart Downing

Brendan Rodgers has praised in-form Stewart Downing and admits he did not want the midfielder to leave Anfield.

Premier League: Burnley boss Sean Dyche says pressure is on Sunderland

Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes the pressure will be on Sunderland when they face each other on Saturday.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company