Did Liverpool’s defence improve against Crystal Palace?

Liverpool kept their first clean sheet of the season defeating Crystal Palace 1-0. It was a stark improvement on the side that drew 3-3 with Watford the week before with Jurgen Klopp making three changes at the back naming Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan, and new recruit Andrew Robertson keeping only Joel Matip in the side. But did they perform better or worse than the side that conceded three goals? Let’s take a look.

Joe Gomez v Trent Alexander-Arnold
Joe Gomez started his first Premier League match since September 2015 but you wouldn’t have known it. The right back completed 82% of his passes, won 75% of his tackles, 100% aerial duels, made one interception, and one clearance. Going forward he made one take-on, created one chance, and delivered two crosses.

However youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold performed the better, completed 82% of his passes, won 33% of his tackles, 100% of his aerial duels, three interceptions, four clearances and four blocks. Going forward he created two chances, delivered two crosses, and made one take-on.

Ragnar Klavan v Diego Lovren
Ragnar Klavan is a no-nonsense defender and a Klopp signing, so it’s no wonder why he got the nod to start against Palace. He completed 92% of his passes, won 50% of his tackles, 64% of his aerial duels, and made four clearances. He also made three take-ons and created one opportunity for his side’s attack.

Diego Lovren started against Watford, then again midweek against Hoffenheim so you’d assume that spot is his, but Klavan would be a suitable player to come in when depth is needed in the side. The Croatian completed 81% of his passes, lost 66% of his tackles, but won 80% of his aerial duels. He made four clearances, two interceptions, and one block last week.

Andrew Robertson v Alberto Moreno
After watching Andrew Robertson’s Liverpool debut, Klopp might be thinking he has finally found a long-term left back that Liverpool arguably haven’t had since John Arne Riise. The former Hull defender completed 87% of his passes, only won 33% of his tackles, but made an interception and a clearance. Plus he was strong going forward, delivering 10 crosses, created three chances, and firing one shot at goal.

While Alberto Moreno has struggled since signing in 2014. Again, a player who started midweek, Moreno also had a positive performance against Watford, completing 79% of his passes, winning 43% of his tackles, 33% of his aerial duels. Making five clearances, three blocks, and one interception. He also had a shot at goal, created one chance and delivered three crosses.

Along with Simon Mignolet, Joel Matip is the only player to have played all three matches at the back for Liverpool. The Cameroonian completed 87% of his passes (up from 82% last week), won 67% of his tackles (down 33%), won 75% of his aerial duels (up 8%) and his one interception and clearance was down from the eight combined last week.

So with a big clash against Arsenal on the other side of their second leg match against Hoffenheim who should Klopp pick at the back?

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