German midfielder Toni Kroos has admitted that Real Madrid’s game plan was to attack Liverpool’s young defence and exploit the injury issues in Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Kroos has revealed that their tactic was to press high and win the ball back off the defence by forcing mistakes in order to stop the forward players being able to get the ball early.
Speaking to Sony Sports, as transcribed by the Liverpool Echo, Toni Kroos outlined Real’s tactics for the match. “A lot of things went well in the first half. I think we came out very motivated and even concentrated in our game plan and it went well, we tried to attack them very early because we knew that they also have to change some players because they have some injured players at the back. So, maybe we thought that’s going to be a good chance to win the ball very early and it went well.
“And of course when we have the ball, our idea was to keep the ball, keep the possession and play forward. And I think all of this went well especially when we lost the ball, we got the back ball very fast, I think this was one key for this great first half.
“Yeah, I mean it’s normal, I think that you try to figure out of the rival you know where some points where you can attack them. But it’s not only the point because they had to change some defenders but also that they come not too easily to their front because of all of us now what quality they have and you know in the front so one idea of course was to attack the defenders so that they cannot go easily to the front where they have most of their qualities.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Sometimes in football, you just have to hold your hands up. The defeat to Real on Tuesday may just have been one of those nights. As much as Liverpool were disappointing and had some poor individual performances, Real were exceptional and worthy of the 3-1 win with a superb display across the board.
Toni Kroos, in particular, was absolutely outstanding throughout the 90 minutes and dictated the game for Zinedine Zidane. The German international recorded a WhoScored rating of 7.64, making one tackle, two interceptions and four key passes. He produced a sensational over the top pass to Vinicius Junior for the opening goal and played an incisive ball in the build-up to Real’s second on the night.
As Kroos says, the early passes were a planned tactic by Real and it helped them get at Liverpool’s inexperienced defence. With the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez out injured, Real perfectly took advantage of Liverpool’s backline – as highlighted by the passes over the top by Kroos – to create chances on Tuesday.
I’m a 22-year-old football writer from Lowestoft. I produce, edit, and publish articles for Anfield Watch full-time.