Liverpool give Klopp a performance he can’t have liked to earn a replay he doesn’t want
Jurgen Klopp hates renewals. But the Liverpool master ought to be thankful for the chance to go Molineux after the FA Cup holders flirted with elimination at the first chain on Saturday night.
The Reds were held by Wolves at Anfield where both sides handed plenitude of entertainment but the hosts offered no consolation whatsoever to their director.
Klopp sought to swerve an unwanted addition to his journal by contending his strongest possible platoon, featuring Cody Gakpo for the first time, against a rotated Wolves side that showed more cohesion and energy than the Reds ’ regulars. Had Toti’s late winner not exposed a ridiculous VAR eyeless spot, Julen Lopetegui’s side would have been justified victors.
A renewal is a nuisance, but it’s far from Klopp’s biggest problem. That would be his midfield. Or maybe his defence. Whichever the director decides is his topmost concern, he’ll have to address both to duly halt Liverpool’s slide.
Virgil van Dijk has hardly been his stylish tone this season but the Dutch protector still leaves a peering hole in his absence. Klopp tried to fill it by pairing Joel Matip with Ibrahima Konate and while neither made the kind of glaring individual error that littered the ultimate’s performance at Brentford on Monday, as a unit, the back four was too easy to play through, over or around.
The centre- tails left the indiscretions for the goalkeeper when Wolves opened the scoring. The first mistake was Thiago’s, with his failed step- over, but the midfielder recovered to poke the ball reverse to his goalkeeper. also, inexplicably and under no pressure, Alisson passed the ball straight to Goncalo Guedes, who gleefully rolled the ball into the empty net.
When goalkeepers are willing to pass out from the reverse, there’s an acceptance that miscalculations will be, but this bone was too unwarrantable just to brush off as an ineluctable consequence of the way Liverpool play. Of course, Alisson has plenitude of credit in the bank, but it seems the Reds ’ jitters have spread to their most dependable player.
Liverpool went in position when Darwin Nunes shin- ed in Trent Alexander- Arnold’s sublime half- volleyed pass, and they were ahead shortly after the break when Mo Salah took full advantage of a excrescence in the offside law. In days not so long agone gone in, that would have soothed Liverpool and the screw would be turned tighter. Now, there’s no confidence the Reds can retain whatever lead their forwards probe for them.
Wolves continued to be inquiry and play through the Liverpool units. One simple pass took them all out and put Rayan Ait- Nouri through on thing, but Alisson blocked the shot.
The coming one went through the Liverpool keeper. It would be harsh to say Alisson was reproachable for Hwang Hee- Chan’s democrat – the ball set up the net courtesy of a fortunate ricochet off the Wolves forward, but those in the front of the Brazilian breach clearly failed in their duty of care for their thing.
‘ They walked into our box, ” groaned Klopp latterly. You could be forgiven for allowing he was speaking literally, similar was the ease Wolves had the Reds retreating. It clearly was n’t an insulated case.
Klopp might have had mixed passions over the sight of Matheus Nunes coming off the bench to ransack his machine room. The Wolves midfielder caught the eye in a half- hour gem that showed Liverpool both what they could have won and what they stillmight.However, the Portugal transnational’s performance will only have served to heighten his desire to right a wrong from last summer, when Liverpool were determined only to subscribe the right midfielder, If Klopp was keen on Matheus before tonight.
Another sub, Naby Keita, was arguably Liverpool’s most eye- catching midfielder after he replaced Jordan Henderson for the final quarter. Keita did that thing he does sometimes, putting himself about enough to make you wonder if he might have a future at Anfield after all. None of us, Klopp especially, should be smelled in. But Klopp has to find a result nearly. It would be careless not to at least try in favour of making do for now.
We’ve to assume Klopp and his board have n’t blown the January kitty on Gakpo when there’s such an egregious weakness away in the team. clearly not if they hope to regain the season.
What of Gakpo on his debut? He was quiet. Which is accessible so soon after joining from PSV. Gakpo wo n’t offer Liverpool an immediate answer to their problems. Klopp knows that. But the director needs to come up with other results sooner rather than latterly.