Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp gives his verdict on the 2-2 draw against Wolves in the FA Cup
To call Liverpool’s performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup tie at Anfield on Saturday frustrating would be an understatement. Shoddy defending and a nonexistent midfield plagued the Reds as they limped to a 2-2 draw.
However, there were some positives to take from the game as Darwin Nunez finally scored a goal after what felt like an eternity. Trent Alexander-Arnold was arguably our best player on the night, assisting Darwin’s goal, and putting in a solid defensive game as well.
Wolves’ first goal was a shock gift to Goncalo Guedes from Alisson, but the keeper probably deserves a cutting from the slack given how he has been the best player for Liverpool this season.
There are absolutely no brownie points for guessing which department was a bit shaky, and due to the midfielders not being at their best, the defending was vulnerable on plenty of occasions and manager Jurgen Klopp talked about the same as well.
Speaking to the club’s official website on whether he is concerned about the Reds’ defending in recent games, here is what the German said:
“Not in general, but in moments, it’s not concerning… look, you watch a game and then you see the things that happen. Whatever you play, high-line, deeper-line, ball-orientated, man-orientated – you have to win challenges. There is no alternative to [that].”
Are the defensive problems at Liverpool due to midfield inconsistencies?
The gaffer spoke about the importance of winning one-on-one challenges, failing which the entire team becomes susceptible to quick releases and counter-attacks. But the fact that most of Liverpool’s midfielders are ageing, the ability to track back would not be the same as would have been the case a few years ago, and the legs might be catching up with time.
The likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and even Thiago Alcantara for that matter are not the youngest of players, and the ability to get behind attackers at a quick pace naturally goes down with time and that is one of the major reasons why we should prioritize bringing in new midfielders.
A replay is probably the last of things the Reds needed in an already congested campaign, but it is what it is and there is only so much the squad could do at this point in time apart from taking their focus to the next game which is what the gaffer also talked about.
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No fixture is bigger than the next one, and in this case, it is the league game away from home against Brighton on 14th January. It will be a reunion with former Red Adam Lallana, who is in top form now. We need players like him, who gave their heart and soul for the club, doing the hard yards pressing and at the same time, being a more than decent technical player as well.