I’ve been peppering Jurgen Klopp with criticism of late – especially following the draw against Bournemouth in midweek. But it’s time to give him credit for finally appearing to put the factors that derailed Liverpool’s title challenge to bed.
He rightly came under stick after repetitive tactical and poor time management against the Cherries on Wednesday – and hopes weren’t exactly high ahead of the trip to the bet365 Stadium.
Liverpool had not won a league game without Sadio Mane – and were also without a Premier League away win in 2017. With stellar winger Sadio Mane out injured along with Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana, Stoke must have seen this as an opportunity to end an inconsistent run.
The team selection was met by several grimaces by Liverpool supporters – with the likes of Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn brought into the side. Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Marko Grujic & Daniel Sturridge were all on the bench.
But all of Klopp’s tactical and personnel decisions paid off in the end. There are plenty of positives to take forward from the win – aside from the result which further consolidates our hold on the top 4, it shows that Klopp is ready to be a little more ruthless and hand youth a chance. If he can continue this feat going into the new season with an improved squad depth, the Reds have every right to look forward to an assault on the title next season.
Here are just a couple of big decisions he had to make – which fortunately paid off!
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