Klopp 'so happy' 28-year-old Liverpool star showed off vital second side to his game
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Jurgen Klopp 'so happy' Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showed off vital second side to his game

Jurgen Klopp is clearly thrilled as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showed off a second style of play against Atletico Madrid. The 28-year-old is playing well right now.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was having a very quiet season as of a few weeks ago. He sat behind four or five other midfielders in the pecking order and didn’t look like breaking into the side.

Then came the trip to Atletico Madrid. Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench with style, consistently looking like a threat as Liverpool struggled to get going.

But while that looked encouraging, his performance from the start on Wednesday was even better. The 28-year-old showed off two sides to his game.

Klopp on Oxlade-Chamberlain

“The problem is when you don’t play for a long time and you are constantly in the situation that you think you have to convince people; then it’s probably more the speed-ups and stuff like this,” said Klopp on Oxlade-Chamberlain, per Liverpoolfc.com.

“Speed-ups, they are brilliant but there is not always a space there for that. That’s why I was so happy for him that he really could mix it up.

“Of course we need both and we have usually both, but when he didn’t play for a long time then it’s like this, you try to overachieve pretty much in a game, it was then a bit the case.

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“It was now really, in a very positive way, a relaxed performance but extremely helpful for the team.”

‘Speed-ups’, as Klopp calls them, are a hallmark of Oxlade-Chamberlain and a big part of his style. But the boss is absolutely right that we saw another side to his game against Atletico.

Oxlade-Chamberlain completed five dribbles out of five and won three tackles. Those are the kind of high-octane moments you expect.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

But in a game where Liverpool wanted control, the midfielder delivered real consistency. He finished with an 88% pass completion, for instance, and Atletico didn’t tackle him once.

Liverpool had a two-goal lead and a man advantage in a game Atletico desperately wanted something from. They needed their midfield to play things safe more than anything – and Oxlade-Chamberlain did just that.

Five dribbles out of five, three tackles out of three. Even if his final ball wasn’t there, he gave both sides of the performance Klopp wanted.

And that surely earns him a spot vs West Ham United.

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