KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

Jamie Carragher admits Cody Gakpo “revelation” – “I didn’t think he had this”

Jamie Carragher has explained Cody Gakpo‘s key role in the 7-0 win over Man United, admitting his previous misjudgement over the new Liverpool striker.

Less than a month ago, Carragher used his column in the Telegraph to describe himself as “baffled” by the deal to sign Gakpo in January.

The former Liverpool centre-back claimed the 23-year-old was “not a typical Klopp signing,” adding that he was “lacking lightning pace and the capacity to lead a high press.”

In his defence, Carragher’s concern over the £44 million deal with PSV Eindhoven came amid wider disappointment at the failure to sign a midfielder in January.

And following the 7-0 thrashing of Man United on Sunday – in which Gakpo opened the scoring before adding another for 3-0 – the Sky Sports pundit accepted he was wrong.

“I’ll be honest with you, watching Gakpo, I didn’t think he had this,” he said on Monday Night Football.

“I thought he’s got to play central. I don’t really see him as a wide player even though it was his role at PSV, because I didn’t think he had the pace.

“But that running power he’s got [to get into the box for his second goal] was absolutely fantastic.

“And that finish! That’s world class. You’re talking about some of the best players in world football, that’s how he finished.

“[It was] from the tightest of angles – and don’t forget how far he’s run, he’d be shattered by the time he gets to that!

“You see the celebration in front of the Kop. He, for me, was the big revelation.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 5, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo (R) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 7-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This “revelation” came as, in Carragher’s eyes, Gakpo’s deep-dropping No. 9 role allowed Liverpool to exploit Man United‘s man-marking system.

In his analysis, the 45-year-old noted how, with the Dutchman effectively joining a midfield diamond alongside Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Harvey Elliott, a 4-4-2 system took shape.

And that “running power” gave Gakpo the ability to exploit a gap as Casemiro marked Elliott, Fred focused on Henderson and Wout Weghorst tracked Fabinho.

With Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah as the constant threat up front, it clearly posed Man United a number of problems, with Carragher using the opening goal as proof.

That allowed Liverpool to take control and, with the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Antony vacating their duties, a historic win was able to play out.