Writing for The Daily Mail, former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp has identified one aspect of the Reds’ recent win over Bournemouth that will have particularly pleased manager Jurgen Klopp.
Redknapp highlights that, at times, Liverpool had to dig deep at Anfield to keep the Cherries out. In the likes of Josh King, Ryan Fraser and Jordon Ibe, Bournemouth boasted forwards capable of hurting Liverpool, but the home side did well to keep them quiet.
Redknapp wrote: “The clean sheet will have pleased Jurgen Klopp as much as his side’s free-flowing football.”
This may well be true, as the German coach will know that his side must remain tight at the back if they’re to triumph in this season’s title race.
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Yet to win the top flight in the Premier League era, Liverpool are currently level on points with reigning champions Manchester City, with just a dozen games left to play. As Redknapp added: “Liverpool’s title bid has been built on defensive solidity” – something which Klopp will be keen to ensure continues.
Redknapp is spot on with his assessment of Klopp’s priorities. The Liverpool manager has taken a long time to cultivate a balanced squad at Anfield, that no longer feels overly front-loaded. The Reds now have a solid backline, with some quality strength in depth to call on if needed.
Improvements are still required, as the likes of Alberto Moreno and Joel Matip must be upgraded upon soon, but generally the Reds’ defensive contingent is impressive. Klopp will continue to demand more from his defence between now and the end of the season, ensuring they retain their focus – as he knows that the Merseyside outfit’s title push depends upon it.