MOTM Ryan Kent last night revealed a telling tactical insight into his game as managed by Steven Gerrard, and just why he played the way he did.
The on-loan Liverpool winger provided two massive assists and had an overall energetic first half before seemingly fading a touch in the second half, but the 22-year old insists the tactics rather than anything else were his guide.
“In the second half it was very difficult (for me). Every time I picked up the ball in the first half I felt dangerous on the ball, and that I could make something happen. In the second half I had to be more tactical about things and help out defensively.”
In simple terms Gerrard let him off the leash in the first half and while he wasn’t quite as dominating as he can be, he was still vicious on the ball and Aberdeen had no answer to him at least twice. But the second half was about control and defence, and Kent had to withdraw his attacking instinct and support Barisic and the men behind him a lot more.
He has previous for this – he was Rangers’ best player at Parkhead last year, given he didn’t hide, and crucially showed defensive capability to retreat and help out at the back while the home side were trying to run up a cricket score.
Last night though Gerrard set him out to attack in the first half but then withdraw and just work in the second.
And we’d have to say it worked till he ran out of steam.