How Benfica B helped Liverpool beat Tottenham in the Champions League final

Benfica B vs Liverpool

In the build-up to the Champions League final in Madrid, Jurgen Klopp took his Liverpool squad to Marbella for a warm-weather training camp.

During Liverpool’s Marbella trip, articles came out about Liverpool’s problems in playing a competitive friendly.

According to the likes of Times reporter Paul Joyce, Liverpool struggled to land a suitable opponent, as many teams were already on holiday at the end of the campaign.

In the end, Liverpool played Benfica B in a behind-closed-doors game.

How Benfica B helped Liverpool beat Tottenham

Portuguese paper A Bola have reported on Tuesday on what happened in the match between Benfica B and Liverpool.

According to Benfica B manager Renato Paiva, his side helped Liverpool train specifically for the Spurs showpiece.

Paiva explained that Klopp and his assistant Pepijn Lijnders “found similarities between Benfica B and Tottenham’s style of play”.

Put another way, Liverpool handpicked their match against Benfica B on purpose.

Paiva then detailed how his Benfica B side tried to mirror Tottenham’s formation:

We recreated two of their offensive and two of the defensive moments, as well as the set-pieces we thought they’d use in the final.

We replicated their centre back and goalkeeper build-up routines, their 4-2-3-1 defensive shape with the striker cutting between opposition centre backs and the 10 obstructing Liverpool’s 6. Vinicius mimicked Eriksen, Bernardo acted more like Alli and Gomes was Kane.

We had to adapt to that 4-2-3-1 shape, both defensively and in possession, with two midfielders dropping closer to the centre backs during build-up to try and attract Liverpool’s press.

Tottenham would ideally want to attract Liverpool players closer to their box, so after a couple of passes between centre backs and goalkeeper they can then attack the space in behind with their forwards and full backs.

Also see: Bild suggest Liverpool may sign Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt.

Man United & Liverpool level on 42 major trophies.

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