Ruben Neves wonder-strike punishes Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool
Liverpool was the biggest victim of the FA Cup third round, as they lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers, but Jurgen Klopp will worry more about another casualty. Defeat with a weakened team came at a price with the loss of Dejan Lovren to a hamstring injury in the opening minutes which means they may go to Brighton for Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Virgil van Dijk as their only fit central defender.
Klopp impressed by teenage debutant
With Dejan Lovren injured within six minutes at Molineux, Jürgen Klopp turned to a 16-year-old defender. Ki-Jana However became Liverpool’s third-youngest player ever on Monday evening and did his reputation no harm in the 2-1 defeat. Signed from Ajax in September, However, turns 17 in just over a week. The youngster became the club’s youngest ever player in the FA Cup and Klopp was pleased with his performance.
“He is one for the future of course, but what we will do with him now I don’t know,” the German told reporters after the game. “He is 16, turns 17 in a few days,” Klopp said.
The league and the Champions League are the prizes Liverpool is chasing this season and no-one could blame Klopp for the nine changes he made – although he may regret retaining Lovren as one of the two players who also started last Thursday’s defeat to Manchester City.
The manager’s frustration will have been compounded by the fact that illness to others meant he used Lovren, for a seventh consecutive game, when he had planned to name him on the bench. Had he therefore been considering using Jordan Henderson there?
The boss provides an injury update after #WOLLIV & gives his thoughts on Ki-Jana Hoever’s performance. 👇
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 7, 2019
Neves found an better finish by launching a typically dipping and swerving effort from 30 yards which helped wolves to step in the 4th round. The 21-year-old was back to his sublime best here, controlling the midfield with his exhaustive range of passing before producing another goal to linger in the memory.
What a win! Congratulations to the boys! Let’s go for the next round 🐺🧡
— Ruben Vinagre (@Rubenvinagrejr) January 7, 2019
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 7, 2019
Will Klopp turns attention back towards biggest challenge after the defeat
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he was not in a position to choose between competitions and named a strong side to demolish Rotherham United 7-0 on Sunday. Klopp, whose squad depth is improved but does not quite match that enjoyed by Guardiola, evidently does not feel the same way and such a result always felt likely after the team-sheets were handed in. Keeping the defeat in mind, Liverpool have face Wolves again in their premier league fixture.