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Jurgen Klopp was almost back to his smiling self as Liverpool secured a 1-0 win against Wolves on Monday night.
The Reds once again showed glimpses of their normal selves away from Anfield as Diogo Jota struck against his old club to nab all three points.
But there was very little to separate the two sides for the majority of the first half before the Portugal international struck in the second minute of added time.
Mohamed Salah twice almost doubled the lead, but was stopped by a fine save from Rui Patricio, who unfortunately went off with a serious head injury, and an offside call.
So as Liverpool continue to turn the tide on their disappointing season, here’s two things Klopp got right and one he didn’t at Wolves.
Starting Jota over Firmino
Liverpool’s front three looked revitalised with Diogo Jota leading the line instead of Roberto Firmino.
The Reds attack played with much more intensity and tempo than it has done for months.
And much of that must fall on Jota’s shoulders, as his smart finish put the Reds ahead on the stroke of half time.
But it wasn’t just his own performance that improves Liverpool up front, Sadio Mane was also much improved, while Mohamed Salah appeared to have more freedom knowing he wasn’t need to break the line every time.
Settling on Kabak – Phillips partnership
The Ozan Kabak – Nat Phillips partnership seems to be going from strength to strength the more they play together.
Klopp has fielded more defensive pairings than he’s had hot dinners this season, but he seems to have finally settled on this duo as his trusted pair.
And against a highly threatening Wolves attack, Kabak and Philips showed they were up for the fight.
Maybe they’re not Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, but they’re doing a decent job in their absence.
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Thiago dilemma continues
On a night that showed plenty of improvements for Liverpool, Spain midfielder Thiago did not show many signs that he was finding his stride in the Premier League.
The former Bayern Munich man failed to create anything of note, and was caught on the ball on multiple occasions by the Wolves defenders.
In the end, Thiago was taken off for James Milner with around 25 minutes left on the clock, and his disapproving look said it all.
- Jurgen Klopp
- Virgil van Dijk
- Liverpool FC
- Wolves FC
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