Premier League • England

Mo Salah gives Jurgen Klopp perfect response to formation change; star analyses Liverpool form

Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp smiling

Mo Salah has defended Jurgen Klopp’s system change at Liverpool by saying it ‘worked well’ against Rangers, while the Egyptian also spoke about his team’s start to the campaign.

Liverpool have had a troublesome few months due to injuries and what looks like a hangover from last season. They have only won two of their seven Premier League matches so far, putting them in ninth spot and 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.

Liverpool were also disappointed to lose their Champions League group stage opener 4-1 to Napoli. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez both had a torrid night as Napoli ran riot in Italy.

Liverpool got their Champions League campaign up and running by beating Ajax 2-1 six days later. And they also overcame Rangers in their most recent outing, winning 2-0 against the Scottish club.

Alexander-Arnold opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a fantastic free-kick into the top corner. Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead in the second half from the penalty spot. That came after Luis Diaz had been fouled in the box, forcing the referee to give Liverpool a spot-kick.

It wasn’t a vintage performance from Liverpool versus Rangers. But there is good reason for this as Klopp went with a different formation to usual.

Over the past few seasons, the German has favoured a 4-3-3 system. And it has worked wonders, helping Liverpool to win several trophies.

However, he is now trying to accommodate numerous centre-forwards in Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino.

Klopp changes things up for Liverpool

As such, Klopp selected a 4-2-3-1. This saw Jordan Henderson and Thiago operate in a midfield two. Diaz and Salah were selected out wide as usual, while Jota operated just behind Nunez.

During a post-match interview with UEFA, Salah was asked about the change in tactic. He did exactly what Klopp will have been hoping for, by praising it and suggesting it could lead to more goals.

“The gaffer told us yesterday about the formation and we just tried to adapt,” Salah said (via the Liverpool Echo).

“I think it was working well, we created many chances in the first half and second half, we tried to score.

“It’s an offensive formation. It was good for all of us up front, especially because we all want to score goals. It worked well today.”

‘A good night’ for Liverpool, says Mo Salah

The right winger was also asked about the game as a whole. He responded: “It’s a good night. Not perfect but it’s important to win the games at home, especially (as) we have a tough group and we lost the first game. [The team] just needs to carry on and try to win the next games.

“We just try to focus on each game, we take one game at a time because in the Premier League also we are not in our form. We just try to think of each game and be first in the group in the Champions League and also try to win in the Premier League.”

Nunez benefitted from the formation change by getting to start up top. The summer signing had several good chances to score but couldn’t beat Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Nunez has since made a joke about his relationship with Klopp, and it may be slightly concerning for Liverpool fans.