12 May 2016

'He Did Brilliant': Klopp hails £18m Liverpool star; claims £20m-duo 'saved our lives'

Prior to Thursday's bore-draw at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool vs. Chelsea as one of the 'biggest games in the world'. Unfortunately, the match failed to live up to Klopp's lofty billing, and last-minute equaliser aside, there are very few positives to take from the game. Very few players emerged from the game with any credit, but according to Klopp, at least four players can be happy with their night's work.

After the game, Klopp told reporters:

“They [Chelsea] could have scored the second but Simon Mignolet did brilliant. Kolo [Toure], and Dejan [Lovren] had one or two situations where they our lives".

Klopp also praised Sheyi Ojo for his match-saving cross:

"It was a wonderful cross from Ojo and Christian was where he has to be".

A few points:

* Mignolet had a couple of good moments in the game, but he caused confusion in the defence (once again) when (in the first half), he inexplicably stopped coming for a ball into the box, and gifted Chelsea a golden opportunity to score.

* In my view, Moreno needs to be replaced. He is utterly reckless/brainless in the challenge, and he exhibited this again with a flying two-footed lunge on Hazard mid-way through the second half.

* Luckily, the referee's attention was taken by Toure - who received a booking in the melee - and seemingly missed the challenge. Moreno's recklessness has cost Liverpool several times this season, and he shows no signs of moderating his approach.

* Benteke now has 16 goals/assists in 40 games for LFC (One every 131 mins), which is a great return considering his injuries, and marginalisation by Klopp (Granted an average of 17 mins of playing time per game since January). As a comparison: Firmino: G/A every 141 mins. Coutinho: G/A every 168 mins. Sturridge: G/A every 115 mins. Origi: G/A every 128 mins.

Overall, sub-par performance, but it's hardly surprising with the Europa League final on the horizon. Klopp should be able to motivate the players to perform better, but the subconscious desire to ease-off a little (for fear of injury etc) is understandable, if not condonable.

Unfortunately, failing to beat Chelsea may prove costly. If results go against Liverpool this weekend, and the team then fails to win the Europa League final, it'll mean no European football at Anfield next season.

On the subject of the final: irrespective of the performance, it seems likely that tonight's team will start next Wednesday. Is t

^ New contract reportedly worth £18.7m over 5-years.

Author: Jaimie K


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