Phil Thompson explains what Liverpool need to do to get the best out of Christian Benteke

Anfield Pitch

The former Reds defender wants to see the team provide more service to the Belgian target man.

Phil Thompson has told Liverpool that if they wish to get the best out of Christian Benteke then they need to start putting more crosses into the box for the Belgian to attack, Sky Sports reports.

The former Aston Villa forward has scored four goals in the Premier League since his making his move to Anfield in the summer. 

However, injuries have seen the club adopt a different style when he has been absent from the side. Against Manchester City, Roberto Firmino was used as a false nine to devastating effect. And Thompson hints that that success has proved detrimental when Benteke has returned, and that the side need to approach the game differently when he is in the team.

"At Anfield and in games which Liverpool are dominating they need to be able to utilise Christian Benteke's presence. It's something that they will hopefully be working on at the training ground," he said.

"They could have got a lot more crosses in to Benteke from dangerous areas on Sunday. When they had the ball five to 10 yards outside the box there wasn't enough willingness to put the ball in there.

"I could have counted the amount of attempts on one hand and the build-up play was just too slow, which seems to be the case when Philippe Coutinho is out," he added.

Although three of Benteke's strikes in the top flight have come from crosses, the forward has proved that he is capable of finding the back of the net in more ways than a conventional target man. As well as the looping header against Southampton, Benteke stunned everyone with a sensational overhead kick against Manchester United. 

And while Thompson believes that crosses will get the best out of the goalscorer, his goal against Chelsea demonstrated how the forward is also able to get the better of the defenders while the ball is at his feet.


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