Humble Klavan discusses team spirit and set-pieces

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Ragnar Klavan of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal during the EFL Cup Third Round match between Derby County and Liverpool at iPro Stadium on September 20, 2016 in Derby, England.
All rights reserved by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Europe

Ragnar Klavan opened the goalscoring for Liverpool in their third round EFL Cup win over Derby County last night. 

Liverpool was absolutely dominant against Derby and the first goal came from a corner. In the past, the Reds’ have been poor from set-pieces and it is well known that the Merseyside club is poor at defending corners and attacking free kicks, and recently, this has extended to scoring from them.

Klavan, however, has pointed out, according to the Liverpool Echo, that his goal last night has come as a result of practice and not defensive insecurity on Derby’s behalf.

“We work a lot on defensive set-pieces and also offensive ones,” he said.

“Slowly, you can see our defensive ones are getting better and also our offensive ones – we are nicking some goals.”

Klavan may have taken his goal well and he may have looked very tidy when in possession, but it’s still very likely that Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren will be the featured centre-back partnership against Hull City on Saturday.

Klavan said, “I haven’t really thought about it. For me, it’s really important that I came back from my knee injury and stay fit.

“We are just one team and whoever plays is ready to play, that’s a nice feeling.”

Ragnar Klavan was signed as defensive cover but managed to get on the scoresheet last night with a neat finish which has come in for a fair amount of praise.

“It’s a really nice moment as an individual but I was really happy that I could help the team,” he added.

“We had a lot of possession and dominated the game but we didn’t score (at first), but I was in the right place at the right moment – or maybe the wrong place, I don’t know!

“I was there and made a goal and after that we didn’t give away any goals and, to the end, we were good.”

In a world of egotistic, money-grabbing footballers, it is great to see how humble Klavan is and how willing he is to accept a bit-part role for the sake of the team. This kind of selflessness doesn’t go unnoticed by Klopp and he will surely be rewarded.

What’s more, in the case of injury, he is waiting in the wings to step in and take his chance. He is certainly above Mamadou Sakho in the pecking order at the moment. Well in, Klavan lad.

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Michael Mongie
Just like you, I am a hugely passionate Liverpool supporter. I started Rousing the Kop in January 2015 and since then it has grown tremendously and has even been nominated as 'Best New Football Blog' in the Football Blogging Awards.

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