Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp won’t be happy with his defenders after the Reds kicked off their Premier League title defence with a 4-3 win over Leeds United. That’s the opinion of Danny Murphy, who was critical of the Liverpool back line.
Liverpool started their Premier League campaign with a disappointing showing against newly-promoted Leeds.
The Reds started the game brightly as Mohamed Salah won and converted a penalty in the fourth minute as it appeared the champions would pick up where they left off from last season.
However, just moments later the game was level as Jack Harrison cut inside Trent Alexander-Arnold and skipped past Joe Gomez before slotting past Alisson Becker.
Virgil van Dijk then went from hero to villain in the space of minutes after scoring at one end to put the Reds ahead, only to then lay the ball on a plate for Patrick Bamford to level the game again.
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That was a common theme for the Reds as they struggled defensively throughout the game.
Usually unstoppable Van Dijk was disappointing, Alexander-Arnold was also poor, and suffered a comedy of errors in the second half as he put through his own goal.
The right-back was chasing down Harrison when the Leeds winger to lob Alisson, only for the PFA Young Player of the Year to header the ball into the empty net.
Luckily, the goal didn’t count, as Harrison was called back for offside, but it was a worrying moment for the champions.
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And Murphy believes Klopp will be furious with his back-four after the game, as they were bailed out by their front three – Salah in particular.
“Jurgen Klopp won’t be happy,” Murphy wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“He said he wanted to attack rather than defend the title, but I don’t think he meant winning 4-3.
“Of course he won’t rip his plans up after one game, it’s far too early to panic.
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“But he will be comforted that he seems to have more strength in depth at the back if conceding goals becomes a longer-term problem.
“We have to remember Joe Gomez has only just turned 23, still young for a top player who is learning the centre-half position.
“Having Joel Matip fit again will provide Gomez with proper competition because Van Dijk-Matip is a very good partnership and I think that will help the England player’s focus.
“Of course, the beauty of this Liverpool team is that if the defence have a rare off-day, they have outstanding match-winners at the other end of the pitch.”
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