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Hertha BSC

Three things learnt from Liverpool’s 3-0 pre-season victory over Hertha Berlin




Liverpool have enjoyed a number of positive results so far in pre-season, seeing off the likes of Crystal Palace and Leicester City, and they followed it up with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin in Germany on Saturday.

A lot of excitement came from the line-up, with Philippe Coutinho given the captaincy as Sadio Mane and Emre Can returned to action. It was Dominic Solanke though, who opened the scoring for the Reds with a looping header from an Adam Lallana cross.

Georgino Wijnaldum added a second before half-time, his first in Liverpool colours away from Anfield. With a powerful finish from the edge of the box, he pounced on a loose ball after Mane’s run dragged the Hertha defence all over the place.

Mane’s replacement in the second half was summer signing Mohamed Salah, who got on the scoresheet himself courtesy of a wonderful assist from captain Coutinho.

In a promising display from Jurgen Klopp’s side, they will now face Bayern Munich and Napoli or Atletico Madrid in the Audi Cup in midweek, before playing Athletic Bilbao in their final pre-season challenge next weekend.

Here’s what The Boot Room learnt from the game…

Philippe Coutinho is the immense quality that Liverpool need

Much has been made of Coutinho’s future in the past few days, but what was clear from his display on Saturday was that Liverpool can’t afford to lose him. Coutinho was given the captain’s armband for the first time and in the first half he single handedly ran rings around the opposition with his skills, twists and turns wearing the defence out.

His most important contribution of that match was a sensational ball lofted over the Hertha Berlin defence and straight into the path of Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian calmly chipped the onrushing goalkeeper but it was a wonderful assist from the Brazilian playmaker and another sign of an instant connection between the attacking duo.

Sadio Mane and Emre Can are back

The last two players to join Liverpool’s pre-season training with Mane returning from a knee injury whilst Can had an extended break after the Confederations Cup, and they both impressed. Mane looked energetic and dangerous throughout, closing down and pressing high up the pitch and pouncing on every opportunity. There were signs of rust, firing over from 12 yards out, but after three months out that is to be expected.

Can’s display was possibly even more impressive. Despite only having re-joined training this week, his fitness levels impressed as at one point in the first half he went on a 60 yard run, shrugging off challenges from his German opposition. Lasting just under an hour, it was an impressive performance form the midfielder.

Dominic Solanke can compete with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi

With just one centre forward role available in Jurgen Klopp’s current set up, there is plenty of competition between Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings. The performance of youngster Dominic Solanke in Germany only went to prove that there is another candidate to apply pressure to first choice Roberto Firmino.

The highlight of his display was a powerful header after a superb Adam Lallana cross which gave the Reds the lead early on in the first half. Solanke’s movement, pace and strength caused problems throughout and his clinical finishing when given the opportunity will also have helped his case.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Bayern Munich

808 passes; 24 shots; Analysing Munich’s 2-0 victory over Hertha BSC



Bayern vs Hertha BSC Line Ups.001

Two goals in the opening 45 minutes were enough for Guardiola’s Bayern Munich side to take all 3 points in their home tie with Hertha Berlin. Bayern are unbeaten this season in the Bundesliga and have set a league record with 40 points, having 13 wins from 14 games. 

Thomas Müller, known as ‘The Raumdeuter’ (German translation: space interpreter), scored his 13th goal of the season as he converted a header from Benatia’s corner on 34 minutes. 

Coman finished off an exquisite move in the 41st minute to give the home team a 2 goal advantage, as  Boateng played a forward pass to Javi Martinez who played first time with his heel onto the forward run of Coman to finish, with Pep Guardiola applauding his team in the dugout.

Hertha BSC set up with a deep block in the second half to restrict space for Bayern to attack and keep the scoreline at 2-0, and the win took Bayern Munich 11 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

We have again analysed the game and sessions can be found  on The Coaching Manual website to coach your team and players to dominate possession and create chances like Bayern Munich.

Get the knowledge. Pass it on.

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Dominating possession through positional superiority

Even with players such as Robben, Costa and Alaba out with minor injuries and Ribery, Thiago, Bernat and Götze sidelined with longer term problems, Bayern’s line up is still impressive and allows to play towards Pep’s philosophy of dominating possession and creating attacking opportunities through positional superiority.

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The positional understanding of the Bayern players to create attacking options and overloads in all areas of the pitch was key to them dominating the game and being able to attempt 808 passes and completing 730 passes resulting in a pass accuracy of 90%. Of course, pass completion and pass attempts are just an indicator of style of play, rather than a performance measurement, however the passing game of Bayern is key to how they break down opposition sides.

This technical practice encourages clever combinations, making good supporting runs and will refine your players passing ability;

Against Hertha BSC, Jerome Boateng was able to push on as an attacking midfielder to receive higher up the pitch, with Xabi Alonso sitting deeper and acting as a midfield ‘libero’ to prevent any counter attacks and also initiating attacks by breaking lines with forward passes and switching play quickly to tilt and expose the ‘weaker’ side of Hertha BSC before the opposition defensive units can shift.

Here is a warm up practice will introduce your players to the concept of Switching Play;

By Alonso sitting deeper and offering defensive security, this also allowed Rafinha and Lahm to push higher up the pitch when Munich were in possession in order to support the attack in wide areas and create attacking overloads.

This small sided game will provide your players to identify opportunities to create Attacking Overloads;

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In comparison to teams across Europe, Bayern attempted and completed more passes this weekend than any other top European side and this is a key component in their approach and victory over Hertha Berlin.

Bayern vs Hertha Assets Key.001

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Suzanne1172

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