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Liverpool 2 Porto 0 (Nov 24 2021)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

Yep, that’ll do. All things considered that went as well as we could have hoped for. A comfortable enough win, another goal for Mo, a clean sheet, some run outs for players who needed game time and a quietly impressive first CL start for Tyler Morton. We also picked up a big wedge of prize money too, which means nothing to us as fans but will please the Boston bean counters.

 

Klopp made changes but went stronger than many expected. Most of the side made perfect sense, but Joel, Sadio and Mo all started and Alisson was in goal. Somewhat risky but the lack of alternatives probably forced his hand somewhat. Not so much with Alisson. That’s one where you could choose to give Kelleher a run out if you want (and he might play in Milan) but it’s not like you need to ‘rest’ your keeper. I’d have been good either way on that.

 

Matip only played because Gomez was out. Nat Phillips was an option but Klopp probably wanted to see Konate playing with Matip, as that hasn’t happened yet as far as I can recall. What that means for the weekend remains to be seen, as playing Joel three times in a week is definitely a gamble. Maybe Konate will play against Southampton and then Joel comes back for the derby? That seems to the most logical scenario to me

 

The choices up front will have raised the most eyebrows. Sadio and Mo both starting in a dead rubber? It seems needlessly risky but I don’t really think there was much alternative. Yeah, Divock was available but was he fit to play a full game? He’s been injured, ill, and hasn’t trained much for the past week so maybe he wasn’t up to starting? He only came on pretty late so maybe there’s a reason for that?

 

I’m always a bit uneasy about the big names playing in games when they aren’t really needed but I find it hard to be critical of this selection because I look at the bench and I didn’t really want any of them starting (other than Big Nat and Divock). It’s easy to say “just play the kids” and I have done, but Klopp isn’t going to send them out there against top level European opposition as that can do more harm than good. 

 

The way to help them along is play them with senior players, as he did with the inclusion of Tyler Morton. He was really good too. He did absolutely nothing flashy or memorable, but that in itself is a compliment as that isn’t the job of a number six in this team. He kept the ball moving, made himself available, just generally played with a real maturity. He’s fucking good isn’t he? He’s got something about him. Very calm, never looks nervous.

 

 

 

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I guess Dave it’s time  you do a special issue of the fanzines about these records we broke or could have broken only if …

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Disappointed that the ref fell for so much of their playacting. Up to this game, the refereeing had been pretty much exemplary in the previous four matches. 

 

Loving the "best struck ball" number. 

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1 hour ago, bigal said:

That Mané VAR decision was dodgy as. If they drew the lines based on the feet only it would be clearer for everyone.

It was like last season in the Prem.  I thought they'd stopped this nonsense about being offside by the thickness of your shirt. 

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