Liverpool are all set to face Arsenal for the second leg of their FA Cup encounter, the first leg of which ended in a 0-0 draw. Liverpool are currently 11-points behind the Premier League champions, Manchester City.
Talking to the press, ahead of Liverpool’s game against Arsenal, Assistant Manager Pep Lijnders was asked about their dependence on Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane and the lack of attacking options for Liverpool in their absence.
He said that Liverpool had some of its most memorable performances in the absence of these top players, suggesting that the team is equally good.
He said, “Yeah, he did it before. The most memorable games we played were without a few of them, so it’s not about that.
“When we have our squad, we know that we, especially after last year, we knew that we needed to create different weapons.
We needed that we create goals from everywhere, last passes from everywhere, dribbles from everywhere, attacks from everywhere. Not just based on counter attack of these two boys (Salah and Mane).”
The dutch manager went on to appreciate Salah and Mane and the way they carry the Liverpool attack. However, he did stress that the team has developed different ways to attacks.
He said, “Of course, I said it before that they are our face, they are our frontline, they give us so much direction on our games but what I like is that we don’t have one weapon.
We have so many different ways to attack and how we are evolving and how we are developing with our positional game it’s important and it’s [something] I really like.”
“They have matured – credit to Mikel.” – Liverpool asst. manager on Arsenal
The manager further appreciated Mikel Arteta and the way he has developed the Arsenal team.
He said, “They have a really good team at the moment. They have matured – credit to Mikel. We wanted to surprise them with our intensity which is what we did until the red card. Their team looks a proper team.”