Analysing Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno's Champions League display versus Sevilla
Having been the scapegoat for Liverpool’s 3-1 Europa League final defeat to Sevilla in 2015, Alberto Moreno vindicated himself with an impressive performance against his former club on Wednesday night.
The Spaniard had a bit of a shocker in 2015 and it was a performance that had a lasting effect on his first team position. It would be James Milner who played in the left-back spot throughout the season after that final, as opposed to the more suitable Moreno.
However, more than two years on from that horrendous Europa League final, Moreno looks to have refound his form. The left-back was a persistent threat going forward and he fulfilled his defensive duties well against Sevilla, unlike his teammate Dejan Lovren.
The 25-year-old may have had a hand in the opponent’s first goal, failing to help out his centre-backs by following Ben Yedder, but he made up for it with some brilliant offensive work.
Combining with Jordan Henderson, the Spanish defender drifted inside before latching onto his captain’s through-ball and steering it across the box for Roberto Firmino to level the scoreline.
By cutting inside, Mane stayed wide and this confused Sevilla’s defensive structure as no one was able to pick the roaming Spaniard up. His electric pace, to get beyond the back four, was also highly impressive. With Moreno at left-back, Liverpool are given another attacking outlet.
Moreno’s off-the-ball movement provided Mane more freedom, with the former Sevilla defender overlapping, giving the Senegal international more options on the ball.
Yet, as a defender, his main duty is to protect his own goal, and he did this well over the duration of the whole game. He kept it simple at the back, making six clearances.
The stat that should please Jurgen Klopp the most, however, is the three interceptions Moreno has to his name. The Spaniard was on the front foot, stopping dangerous passes from the creative Sevilla players and helping Liverpool break on the La Liga outfit.
A part of the German boss’ philosophy is to win the ball back quickly and intercepting is one of the best ways to do just that. Moreno’s anticipation will have been noted by Klopp.
The 25-year-old’s impressive display at left-back comes at a crucial time with Andrew Robertson having also looked good in previous fixtures. Moreno may have just given his manager a fresh selection dilemma.