Klopp hails transfer target who passed audition; notes trend among Liverpool opponents

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp grinning alongside Thiago Alcantara

Jurgen Klopp lauded transfer target Adama Traore for his part in making Liverpool’s life difficult, and noted a trend among the Reds’ opponents.

Liverpool ascended to the summit of the Premier League pending Manchester City’s evening result after securing a last-gasp victory at Wolves. The Reds’ fearsome attack was blunted by resolute Wolves defending throughout much of the contest. At half-time, neither side had registered an effort on target.

But Klopp’s Liverpool fight until the death, and deep into injury time, super sub Divock Origi plundered a vital wining goal.

The winner sparked wild celebrations among the players and coaching staff with Origi’s goal assuming greater importance following Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham in the lunchtime kick-off.

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Speaking to the BBC after the match, Klopp noted that Wolves abandoned their usual free-flowing style under Bruno Lage in favour of battening down the hatches for the visit of Liverpool. That is something the Reds have become accustomed to, though it did not dampen Klopp’s spirits.

“Absolutely great,” said Klopp. “A very difficult game, we had to fight against an opponent that changed their approach. They normally are a footballing side, we didn’t see much of that today.”

Traore impresses Klopp in narrow defeat

Liverpool have drawn persistent links with Wolves flyer Traore in recent months. The rumours recently ramped up after a report indicated he could be available for as little as £20m in January.

While the Spaniard did not register a goal or assist, his punishing runs caused Liverpool’s defenders all manner of problems from first minute to last.

Klopp’s comments suggested he is a fan of the speedy forward when saying: “They defended deep with a lot of players and go for counter attacks and it’s really difficult as there’s no-one as quick as [Adama] Traore.

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“It was a massive challenge for our concentration as we missed massive chances with Diogo [Jota]. But you have to stay in the game, which is what we did.

“We brought on [Alex] Oxlade-[Chamberlain] and Divock [Origi] on and in the end it worked out and I’m really happy with that.

“The football game was really good in tricky circumstances. We played a lot of good stuff, it wasn’t easy and when the game is 0-0 you feel the pressure when you want this result so badly. The fact that we got it makes it really good.

“I heard this [the weather] happens in Stoke, but it was in Wolverhampton and we came through and it was all good.”

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Late drama shows Liverpool “mentality” – Origi

Matchwinner Origi also spoke to the press, saying: “We fought a lot and it was a difficult game against a strong team offensively and defensively. It was about getting the win and it shows our mentality.

“We have the three points which is important to keep the momentum going.

“Sometimes in games like this you try and try and it does not immediately go in but we have worked on being calm and we have quality offensively.

“He [manager Jurgen Klopp] told us we played a good game and was happy, like the whole dressing room.

“We came here to win and eventually it happened, that’s why we do the hard work in the week for this.”

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