Klopp Praises UCL Debutante Elliot over Showing Against Inter Milan

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By Martin Graham | 18th Feb 2022

Jurgen Klopp lauded the performance of Harvey Elliott who was handed his first start since suffering a debilitating injury against Leeds United in the Premier League back in September 2021.

The German tactician handed Harvey Elliott his first start for Liverpool since September. It also turned out to be Elliott’s first ever Champions League game for the Reds.

His 58 minutes showing for the Reds at San Siro attracted a lot of praise and acclaim as the young midfielder, 18, managed to stave off pressure from the likes of Arturo Vidal, Marcelo Brozovic and other big names in the Inter squad.

Klopp was especially happy with Elliott’s performances in the game. “It was absolutely OK, but Harvey can play much better, we know that.

“The reason Harvey played was because we knew which spaces we had to play and it’s usually naturally his area, these half-spaces around the midfield three, being very flexible, naturally offensive-minded and all these kind of things. That’s why he played. He had really good moments but we all know he can play much better.

“He did the job, he was working incredibly hard and all these kind of things. When you are 18 years old and play against one of the most experienced teams in world football and they are Italian on top of that, for an offensive player it’s not a walk in the park.

“It was a very, very important game for him and very helpful for us as well.”

Klopp happy with general performance of Liverpool against Inter

The German manager also spoke on his side’s performance in his post-match comments. “After the game, I couldn’t care less, but during the game, we didn’t finish the situations often enough.

“Bobby needed time to get into the game because he got the balls in the most difficult areas… After he scored the goal, you could see the confidence back all of a sudden, the ball was our friend again and we won the game.

“We defended really well, the way you have to defend. We like to win the ball early but sometimes it is not possible.

“You have to defend with passion, organisation helps as well. Defensively it was a really strong performance but it would be silly if we didn’t defend well as it means a lot to us this competition and we invested a lot.”

He also expressed a worry about an injury which Diogo Jota suffered in the first half of the match. Liverpool’s second highest goal scorer this season had to be taken off at half-time and was replaced with Firmino, the goal scorer.

Klopp worried that Liverpool will be without their on-form striker for the next few games.

“I’m really happy with everything, apart from that Diogo had to go off with something around the ankle ligament. We will see, we don’t know exactly.

“He could have played on, maybe that’s a good sign, but at half-time, the ankle was swollen anyway so we knew we had to change.”

Liverpool’s next challenge is back-to-back home games in the Premier League and a trip to Wembley for the Carabao Cup final.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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