KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 21, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister (L) and captain Virgil van Dijk celebrate after the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. Liverpool won 3-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Media – Liverpool “not in top gear” but Jurgen Klopp’s “boldness” pays off

After Liverpool’s professional 3-1 win over Fulham in the Premier League, the English media could at last find words of positivity about the Reds.

The importance of victory in west London couldn’t be stressed enough, with dropped points acting as a major blow in the title race.

Thankfully, Liverpool played well at Craven Cottage and got the job done, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota scoring the goals.

Here’s how the media assessed the Reds’ win over Fulham.

 

A professional victory as Liverpool steadied the ship

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 21, 2024: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thom Gibbs of the Telegraph lauded Klopp’s “boldness” with his team selection:

“Liverpool were out of Europe, reeling after a surprise home defeat in the league and playing on a weekend they had earmarked for an FA Cup semi-final.

“The odds on Jurgen Klopp’s fairytale ending have been lengthening for weeks, but they find themselves ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League table again after this convincing victory over Fulham, albeit with the significant asterisk of City’s game in hand.

“This was an afternoon to right a listing ship and Klopp deserves recognition for his boldness in selection.”

BBC Sport‘s Michael Beardmore was impressed by the manner of Liverpool’s win, in what could have been a tricky game:

“Klopp’s trademark post-match fist-pumping celebration with the travelling supporters seemed to have even more oomph than usual after his side navigated a tricky test they simply could not afford to fail.

Fulham have claimed a string of notable scalps at the Cottage this season, upsetting Arsenal there in December, while European hopefuls Tottenham, Brighton and West Ham have all been soundly beaten too.

“Liverpool were fully aware of their credentials, having been taken to the limit by Marco Silva’s side in a thrilling 4-3 win earlier this season as well as edging their Carabao Cup semi-final over two legs.

“This was far more routine than those prior meetings but it needed Alexander-Arnold – who hit Liverpool’s dramatic late winner to down Fulham at Anfield in December – to light the touch paper.”

Oli Gent of TNT Sports felt Liverpool’s squad depth was key against Fulham:

“Liverpool were not in top gear by any means, but they didn’t have to be in what proved a relatively straightforward afternoon for them.

Fulham posed some threat on the counter-attack, but their spurts of danger were few and far between as the visitors’ quality told. What told further, was their strength in depth.

“Klopp decided to drop his star names – Salah, Nunez, Szoboszlai, and Mac Allister – in favour of more rotational options, and two of them delivered, with Jota and Gravenberch, both of whom have been plagued with injuries this term, doing the business.”

 

Alexander-Arnold’s influence shone through

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 21, 2024: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Mirror‘s Mark Jones thought Trent’s leadership was impressive, as he continues to grow as vice-captain:

“How Liverpool have missed their vice-captain when he’s been out injured. Alexander-Arnold is one of the very best players in this division, and he showed it right from the start here.

“Playing those trademark bombs from the back, Alexander-Arnold set the tone and the the style of this Liverpool performance, and he was involved in everything they did that was so impressive in the game’s opening moments, not least the superb free-kick that opened the scoring.

“He is a leader in this side. Now to sort that contract.”

Speaking on Sky Sports after the match, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher compared to Trent to Kevin De Bruyne:

Writing in his post-match player ratings, the Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle was another who hailed the Reds superstar:

“Liverpool’s most creative player first half and, while occasionally caught out in defence, curled in brilliant free-kick for opener.

“Sensible showing after interval.”

 

The Premier League title race was assessed…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 21, 2024: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jones was quick to point out that Liverpool are still very much in the mix:

“And so Liverpool move back level with Arsenal, pushing Manchester City down to third on a weekend when they had cup commitments to attend to.

“It is still hugely likely that the ribbons on the Premier League trophy come the end of the season and sky blue once more, but as Pep Guardiola moans about fatigue and City face a couple of tricky away games, the hope for Liverpool is still there.”

Finally, Carragher was in positive spirits after the win:

“A massive result for Liverpool, not just in terms of the title race and the three points, but to get things back on track.

“In midweek, they won the game, but went out of the competition, but I think Klopp almost used that for ‘Liverpool are back’. They kept a clean sheet, they won the game and this was a step up again in terms of performance.

“It can be better of course, but it’s a massive result. With five games to go in the Premier League, level at the top with Arsenal, it’s a good position to be in.”