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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fitting farewell for Klopp, 491 & out – 5 talking points from Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Jurgen Klopp was given the winning send-off he deserved, with Liverpool putting two unanswered goals beyond a 10-man Wolves as a historic era came to a close.

Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Premier League (38), Anfield
May 19, 2024

Goals: Mac Allister 34′, Quansah 40′


A fitting end to an unprecedented era

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's Jarell Quansah celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“There is no question that these guys deserve to go out on a high if at all possible,” Virgil van Dijk penned in his programme notes.

It was mission success. And there was even a clean sheet, the first in the league since the trip to Forest – that was at the start of March!

It is no secret Liverpool’s motivation for this one was greater than Wolves‘, but this was a farewell win befitting the manager and his departing coaches.

Every player in the starting XI Klopp either signed or handed their debut from the academy, each with their own tale of what he means to them.

We saw Liverpool use the wings and inject pace into the match, Andy Robertson turned back the clock and gave us flashbacks each time he linked up with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah.

There was the sign of the ‘new’ as well in Harvey Elliott, Jarell Quasah and Conor Bradley, while a nod to the old guard was littered throughout the XI.

The season did not end how we wished, far from it, but a victory was the least the manager deserved after nearly nine unforgettable years.

 

Klopp’s favourite to Slot’s weapon

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alexis Mac Allister has proved himself time and time again this season, a player who is undoubtedly the signing of the season.

The No. 10 was deployed on the right of midfield, a deviation from his normal position on the left when sharing the pitch with Wataru Endo – his influence remained, though.

The subject of a nasty challenge from Nelson Semendo – which rightly got the Wolves man sent off – preceded a delightful headed goal, his seventh of the season.

It was only right the teacher’s pet scored the opener and hinted at more to come under new coach Arne Slot, who will undoubtedly look to build around the No. 10.

At the time of the Argentine’s substitution, after 70 minutes, he was FotMob’s highest-rated player (8.5) – he finished with one goal, three chances created, a 95 percent passing accuracy and a duel success rate of 100 percent (7/7).

At 25, we’re only at the start of his prime and he will be integral to any success we hope to see under Slot.

 

A legacy to continue

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister celebrates with team-mate Harvey Elliott (R) after scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. It is an adage that Klopp has lived by, not only at Liverpool but throughout his entire managerial career.

He has used 120 different players during his time at the club and while big signings have arrived, he always made sure those at the academy knew a chance was on the cards.

Alexander-Arnold is the poster boy, Curtis Jones was the next to follow, and in the likes of Elliott, Quansah and Bradley, the next generation is here.

That is not even mentioning the likes of Bobby Clark, Ben Doak and James McConnell – among others – and it is a legacy he leaves behind for Slot to pick up and run with.

That Quansah was on the scoresheet again and Elliott ended his campaign with another assist was symbolic, the baton has been handed over in more ways than one.

Klopp recently voiced his regret over not using Liverpool’s No. 19 enough at the backend of the season, and he laid down another marker here with a Man of the Match performance.

The next generation is here and the future is bright.

 

Exits and question marks

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a day to bid farewell to Klopp and his coaches, in addition to Thiago and Joel Matip – neither of whom were fit to be in the squad.

Their exits were duly given the tributes they are deserving of, but while that is written in stone, there remain question marks over others.

Kostas Tsimikas was left out of the matchday squad despite being fit, Adrian is out of contract and has hinted he wants to return to Spain, while rumours continue to circulate over Salah, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez.

Klopp has long wielded the power, but with Slot to arrive as head coach, the big calls over how the squad transforms will be largely left in the hands of sporting director Richard Hughes and FSG’s Michael Edwards.

It promises to be an interesting summer ahead, change is here whether we like it or not.

 

The final bow

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A day we dreaded, the one we thought we still had a couple of years left before we had to cross this particular bridge.

But there could be no putting off the inevitable. Klopp didn’t want this day to be all about him, but there was little he could do about that!

His name was sung, a mosaic unveiled in his honour and tears shed over the memories and years we have shared together.

The Kop went through the best of the Klopp era songbook, players past and present all getting their time in the spotlight – from Divock Origi to Virgil van Dijk.

A festive atmosphere preceded a melancholy one, a fitting farewell for the Shankly of our generation – though you sense there are not enough hours left to truly commemorate what he’s done for this club.

Every fan was on their feet singing ‘I’m so glad Jurgen is a Red’ for close to 10 minutes, epitomising how Klopp brought the entire club together, turning us from doubters to believers.

‘Now you’re gonna believe us, we’ve won the fucking lot.’