Liverpool’s front three suffered against Manchester United because of Thiago’s ‘slow play’, claims John Barnes


Thiago Alcantara made his home debut against Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool legend John Barnes claims Jurgen Klopp’s front three suffered against Manchester United because Thiago Alcantara ‘slows’ the side’s play down.

The Spaniard was making his home full debut for the club after suffering with a knee injury since the early weeks of his move from Bayern Munich in September.

Liverpool dominated possession against United during the 0-0 draw at Anfield but the best chances fell to the visitors, while the home side looked particularly below-par in forward areas.

That was put down to the misfiring displays from Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane but Barnes believes Thiago’s ‘slow’ play contributed to the lack of scoring chances for the home side.

Barnes feels Thiago contributed to Liverpool’s poor play (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

‘Thiago, who was running the game and was the best player in the first-half, I don’t think that necessarily helped the front three,’ said Barnes.

‘Thiago slows the game down. When he slowed it down in tight areas, that is not Mane’s game, that is not Salah’s game.

‘We’re getting used to a new system, but at the moment it’s not working.’

Liverpool sit fourth in the table, trailing league leaders United by three points.

The Reds take on Burnley at Anfield on Thursday, when Klopp is confident that he will have Joel Matip available again.

Liverpool then face United again for the second time in a week as they travel to Old Trafford for the fourth round of the FA Cup.


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