The victory for Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp was encouraging. There were hints of the same old issues versus Lyon, where they played well for the majority of the first half before losing. Therefore, a straightforward 4-1 victory against Milan was just what the doctor ordered as a return to competitive play approaches quickly.
The press once more gave off an impression of being well-organized and strong, just as it had done when playing the French team. That is reportedly Liverpool’s finest playmaker at the moment, according to many. Also mentioned was a player who is most likely to provide Klopp his biggest challenge in a very long time.
The fact that Mohamed Salah seems to be scoring goals once more is promising. However, he can only take home a small amount of the credit for beating Milan. It was put on a plate by Jol Matip.
Few center backs have a distinguishing offensive move, but Matip was at his best with this. He made a continuous pass through the Milan defense that began in his own half and ended just outside the penalty area. He then performed a brilliant one-two with Roberto Firmino before handing the ball to Salah for the decisive touch while remaining composed.
If Jude Bellingham had done it, the uproar would have been considerably louder. It would have looked great on Steven Gerrard’s highlight reel. Matip, the Liverpool center-back who other defenders still find tough to control when he decides to set out on a mission, was there nonetheless.
Due to injury, he was unable to play in the six Premier League games prior to the World Cup, but he has profited from the midseason training camp and now seems prepared. That’s lucky because Ibrahima Konaté is still traveling and Virgil van Dijk has just lately returned from the tournament. Matip and Joe Gomez seem to be solid picks for the Manchester City game.
If you like this post, you’ll love Liverpool.com’s newest project: our brand-new, unique newsletter, which is sent out to those who have joined our mailing list only every daily.
But it’s impossible to predict what Klopp would do next. Van Dijk is definitely a lock once he returns to the game. Due to his World Cup shenanigans, Konaté has also made a compelling case for inclusion. So how could Matip have been forgotten?
On defense, he is as steady as they come. He outperformed Van Dijk for significant stretches of the previous season, and he has committed less expensive mistakes since joining Liverpool. There are currently no signs that the situation is becoming worse.
The offensive threat is another issue that he brought up during the Milan game. Konaté does not currently possess that in the locker to a comparable level. The Frenchman is a complete headache to maneuver around, but he does have the Van Dijk air of invincibility, as proven by his massive frame and relentless pace.
Decide between those two. It’s a challenge that seems insurmountable. Joe Gomez was outstanding in the victory and clean sheet against Manchester City in October, but he hasn’t been mentioned once. If that’s the case, Klopp should think about giving him and Konaté some playing time together because they’re seen as the back line of the future.
Even the best player will eventually suffer some sort of setback. The answer is rotation, which Klopp successfully used last year. But it will be challenging to find the right person for the right circumstance.
In the midst of all the justifiable World Cup frenzy, it is simple to give Konaté the upper hand over his senior teammate for the crucial matches. Matip, however, has provided Klopp with a welcome reminder that he should still pause; he continues to be Liverpool’s shockingly significant playmaker and offers a uniquely great collection of skills.