Jamie Carragher picked out Nat Phillips as Liverpool’s star man during a hard-fought 2-1 victory against West Ham for Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League leaders.
Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota were in the goals for Liverpool as the Reds overcame a 1-0 deficit to register their second consecutive league victory in the space of a week. It is worth noting that Klopp’s English champions were far from their fluent best and could’ve easily dropped points had the manager’s substitutions not injected some much-needed impetus late on.
Summer signing Jota continued his exceptional start on Merseyside with another Anfield goal – he has now scored in every Premier League home match since he signed from Wolves last month.
Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri combined for the match-winner after the Switzerland international produced a beautifully disguised pass to find the Portuguese international who clinically smashed home his fourth Liverpool goal of the season.
Liverpool icon and Sky Sports pundit Carragher was particularly impressed with PL debutant Phillips for his performance having deputised for the injured Fabinho, who is expected to miss the next three matches. The 23-year-old defender was even named as the man-of-the-match.
Liverpool do just enough to win with the Jota winner, who must be putting pressure on Bobby to start in the front 3. Nat Phillips MOM! #LIVWHU
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) October 31, 2020
Carragher: "Absolutely brilliant. To come in last minute – that header [from the last West Ham corner] wins you the game."
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) October 31, 2020
According to Opta powered site WhoScored, Phillips made two interceptions, had 96 touches on the ball and produced nine clearences for his team – more than any other player on the pitch.
Phillips is unable to feature in Liverpool’s next fixture against Atalanta on Tuesday as the Englishman wasn’t included in Klopp’s Champions League squad after it was confirmed that he was extensively linked with a summer move to a number of Championship clubs, and had been expected to leave the club on deadline day.
According to The ECHO, as many as four Championship clubs were deemed with an interest in signing Phillips.
The Liverpool boss had previously described Phillips as “outstanding” after the youngster impressed during the Reds’ pre-season tour in 2018, as per Goal.
“With our situation, we have Nat Phillips here as well and Billy the kid and they are really around”, Klopp added.
“Nat Phillips we thought would be transferred, but at the last second it didn’t happen.
“We already brought him back from Stuttgart for one game last season against Everton in which he did really well.
“These are solutions for us, and help us a lot. The boys are great, and it is a big opportunity for them.”
It was a stunning debut from Phillips and his first Liverpool appearance in nearly a year. His last Anfield bout came during another important victory for the Reds following a 1-0 win against Everton in the FA Cup back in January.
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