KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

Jones’ role, a nervy end & a “clever” penalty – Last word on Liverpool 1-0 Fulham

After Liverpool held on to beat Fulham 1-0, supporters were left debating a narrow win, from which there were both positives and negatives to take.

In what was a polar opposite display to Liverpool’s wild victory against Tottenham just three days earlier, Mo Salah scored Liverpool’s only goal, from the spot, after Darwin Nunez was brought down by Issa Diop.

Despite the visitors’ late pressure, the Reds held out to move within four points of Man United in fourth, though Erik ten Hag’s side have played two fewer matches.

Here, Sam Millne (@sam_millne), Patrick Allen (@P_Allen21) and Tom Eves (@TomEvesJourno) discuss a nervy ending, Curtis Jones‘ role and Darwin Nunez‘s performance in Liverpool’s win against Fulham.

 

Were you nervous in the ground towards the end?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 3, 2023: The scoreboard at 90 minutes during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Patrick: I don’t think it was necessarily nervy because I don’t think that many people were too bothered in all honesty!

The result probably won’t matter too much come the end of the month so, although it was nice to keep the faint hopes of Champions League football alive, I don’t think many people are expecting it.

Tom: Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the ground but I was certainly feeling the nerves.

They had their chances and did well to stay in the game towards the end but, luckily, we have the best keeper in the world playing for us which certainly helps.

 

What did you make of Nunez through the middle?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 3, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sam: He certainly worked hard, as evidenced by his tackle to win the penalty, but I think it is becoming clearer by the week that Cody Gakpo suits Liverpool’s style of play better.

There can still be a future for Nunez at Liverpool, but his touch needs to improve and he will need to work on his play in tight spaces.

Tom: I thought he did alright, not his best game for us so far but he did well to win the penalty. His decision-making was a bit poor at times.

Patrick: I agree, he wasn’t great. It was one of them though – you can’t expect someone to come in after six games as a substitute and expect him to hit the ground running.

I think he’s best suited to the left wing in all honesty and, with Luis Diaz nearing full fitness, there’s a big question mark as to how he fits in next season.

 

What role will Curtis Jones play next season?

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sam: For me, Curtis Jones relies on the system around him, similar to Gini Wijnaldum.

He can excel if the players around him provide the game-changing moments, but he, himself, is unlikely to ever make match-deciding contributions.

There is nothing wrong with that though, as long as the team around him are also playing well.

Tom: I think Curtis will be a capable bench player.

He’s proving a lot of people wrong at the moment including myself, and having this long run of games seems to have done wonders for his confidence.

Depending on the business we get done this summer, I can’t see him starting week in, week out as he has recently, but I would certainly expect him to still have a decent part to play.

Patrick: Curtis is a weird one. To be fair, if there was ever a time for him to step up and show what he’s made of, now is that time, considering the importance of the summer coming up.

While he’s certainly made a strong claim to be in and around the squad next season, I can’t help but see him pushed down the pecking order by new acquisitions.

 

Would would you bring back in to play against Brentford?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 3, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo (L) is challenged by Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Patrick: I think the obvious two would be Cody Gakpo and Andy Robertson.

It was clear to see we missed Cody in the middle of the park against Fulham and, while Kostas Tsimikas might be a bit more defensively switched on than Robbo in the new system, there’s no doubt the Scot is the better option.

Tom: I would perhaps maybe bring Robbo back in after he’s had a bit of a rest against Fulham, as Tsimi was a bit hot and cold against Fulham.

Sam: There is definitely a line of thinking that suggests Jurgen Klopp should stick with the same midfield.

Brentford will pose a definite threat on the counter-attack and Liverpool will need their most mobile midfielders to help deal with that.

Robertson and Diogo Jota, if fit, could be key too.

 

Finally, was is it a penalty? Marco Silva didn’t think so.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 3, 2023: Fulham's manager Marco Silva during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tom: I think it was a penalty, yes.

Darwin does well to get a touch of the ball and knock it away from Diop, who then only makes contact with Darwin.

Penalty all day.

Patrick: Yes, there’s not much doubt about it for me.

It’ll probably go into the ‘clever’ category in the way Nunez wins it and makes the most of the contact, but I don’t think much of a fuss would’ve been made if it was Harry Kane doing the same.

Fulham can’t have too many complaints, Nunez was simply too quick and was caught however softly. Penalty.