3 things Klopp got wrong as Liverpool follow up Man Utd rout with drab defeat
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Liverpool suffered a drab 1-0 defeat to relegation strugglers Bournemouth less than a week on from their 7-0 rout against Manchester United.
The Reds fell behind in the first half at the Vitality Stadium with Philip Billing making the most of some suspect defending from Virgil van Dijk and Co to turn home Dango Ouattaro's cross with a first-time finish.
Mohamed Salah had a chance to level from the spot halfway through the second half, but uncharacteristically blazed his penalty high and wide. And while that cost Liverpool at least a point, Jurgen Klopp's failings put them on the back foot as they lost ground in the top-four race.
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Wrong – Dropping Henderson
While Jordan Henderson will likely be called upon against Real Madrid next week and was claimed to be struggling with illness, he was needed from the off on the south coast.
The experienced England midfielder has come in for stick for being past his prime this season but changing a winning team – especially after such a massive victory – was a bad idea from Klopp.
Without his presence in the middle of the park, Liverpool were overrun by Bournemouth in the opening 45 minutes, which did their backline no favours.
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Wrong – Not switching formation
If Henderson really couldn't start, Klopp should've switched from the 4-3-3 formation he's used religiously during his seven-plus years in charge.
It's been found out this season and many fans have been crying out for a 4-2-3-1 system instead, which the Reds boss did adopt after the break.
Not only would that have provided more cover for the defence, but it would also improved cohesion in the attack which looked disjointed.
Right – Making the half-time change
One thing Klopp rarely does is make changes at half-time, often preferring to stick to his guns for better or for worse.
So it was refreshing to see him address the first-half failings at the midway point by replacing Harvey Elliott with Diogo Jota and make the aforementioned formation adjustment.
Jota breathed new life into the frontline and won the penalty with his pinpoint header which would've gone in had it not been blocked by the arm of Adam Smith.
Wrong – Second-half substitutions
Klopp was always going to have one eye on the second leg of the Champions League round-of-16 tie, but it's hard to argue against a top-four finish being Liverpool's priority.
So taking off their main creative outlet in Trent Alexander-Arnold while losing and bringing on 37-year-old James Milner raised eyebrows.
Darwin Nunez, who made way for Roberto Firmino, had been more impressive than Salah too – but as usual, the Egypt international stayed on the pitch regardless.
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- Liverpool FC
- Premier League
- Bournemouth FC
- Jurgen Klopp
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