MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Jurgen Klopp praises “exceptional” Alexis Mac Allister as No. 6 – and fans agree

Jurgen Klopp has hailed the “exceptional” impact of Alexis Mac Allister after Liverpool consolidated their place at the top of the Premier League table with a 4-0 win at Bournemouth.

The Reds were ruthless in the second half at the Vitality Stadium, with braces from Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota enough to take the game away from the Cherries after a tricky first 45 minutes on the south coast.

Mac Allister was an integral part of his side’s resurgence in the second period, operating in the deep-lying midfield position he has made his own so far this season.

Speaking after the game, the Liverpool boss praised his No. 10 and was particularly pleased to be questioned about his performance in particular.

“Thank you for mentioning that, sometimes people forget that because in the second half we scored the goals,” said Klopp when asked about the World Cup winner’s performance in his post-match press conference.

“Absolutely exceptional performance, I have to say. I’m so happy for us obviously but for him as well.

“He’s a really good footballer, let me say it like that. And he did defensively the job and offensively he is super important anyway for us.

“He was calm on the ball, all the good things in the first half already happened with him.”

There was further praise for the Argentine in the manager’s interview with Sky Sports after the contest, where he discussed Mac Allister’s role in the side and described him as an “incredibly smart player.”

“I know this boy since the summer – I knew him before, we wanted to have him,” Klopp continued.

“He didn’t play the single six at Brighton, but he’s an incredibly smart player. And as long as you can create a compact formation, Macca is an outstanding six.

“You can all tell me what you want – he’s an outstanding six. On the ball, better than all sixes you can imagine, and [off] the ball, he’s just really strong.

“If the pitch is too big, the half-spaces are too open, yeah, I don’t know a lot of sixes who are then great – but there might be a few who come off [better] on the defensive side of it.”

The showing didn’t go unnoticed by Liverpool fans, either, with plenty racing to social media to praise Mac Allister’s outstanding performance in the 4-0 win.

There were understandable concerns among supporters when Wataru Endo departed for the Asian Cup, with the Japan captain currently the Reds’ only specialist defensive midfielder.

While many still believe No. 6 isn’t Mac Allister’s best position, he proved himself to be a great option at the base of the midfield against Bournemouth and alleviated some of the worries caused by Endo’s departure.