Klopp warns Liverpool over treatment of ‘rare’ star; lauds duo for ‘undefendable’ task

Date published: Tuesday 16th March 2021 6:59 - Jonny Whitfield

Jurgen Klopp, Trent Alexander-Arnold Wolves v Liverpool March 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that his other players must not take “rare” winger Diogo Jota’s impact for granted following his return from injury.

The 24-year-old netted what would be the eventual winner against Wolves on Monday on the stroke of half time.

The strike earned Liverpool back-to-back wins since the end of January, a potential sign of their poor form ending.

More importantly, though, they carry such momentum into the international break, allowing time to reset.

It is perhaps unsurprising that Portugal international Jota has directly influenced successive Liverpool wins. The winger scored nine goals in 17 games before encountering a knee injury in December.

Nevertheless, Klopp told his post-match press conference that he cannot rely on Jota alone to produce all the time.

“Diogo is just a class football player but we don’t, we cannot take it for granted that a boy who’s been out for three months – or maybe even a little bit longer – is coming back and has an immediate impact again,” he said (via liverpoolfc.com).

“That’s pretty rare, to be honest, but he has since he’s back. That is really helpful and tonight makes it even more special that he could score that goal, which was a nice goal and good play, passing situation from us.

“And the perfect moment to score the goal, to be honest, like a second before the half-time whistle. So that was really good but the rest of the game was obviously a lot of defending and I’m completely fine with that because that’s exactly what we wanted to do and that’s exactly what I wanted to see – that we show 100 per cent that we understand the situation right.

“It’s not about being Liverpool on a duller night, it’s about being Liverpool and being ready for fighting with all we have for a result. That must be possible even on nights when we are not at our absolute best.

“I’m really happy about the performance, it’s all fine, but obviously the game, I think Robbo [Andy Robertson] called it an ugly three points and I called it a dirty three points. I couldn’t be more happy about these three points.”

Klopp happy to have defended the undefendable

Adama Traore, Ozan Kabak Wolves v Liverpool March 2021

Meanwhile, Klopp also piled praise on defensive duo Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips. The duo kept another clean sheet as their understanding grew with another 90 minute spell.

But while RB Leipzig posed problems of their own last Wednesday, Klopp noted that the duo did well to defend Wolves winger Adama Traore.

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“They played now the second game in a row together and did really well,” the manager said.

“You can imagine the Leipzig game was difficult, but tonight was difficult for completely different reasons because the speed of Traore is actually undefendable in moments.”

MATCH REPORT: Jota haunts former club Wolves as Liverpool claim back-to-back victories

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