Michael Owen believes Jurgen Klopp beat Everton with one major decision for Liverpool. It made a ‘huge difference’.
Liverpool seriously laboured in the first half against Everton at Anfield today. The Reds just couldn’t get anything to click and their tempo, it’s safe to say, was far too slow. Things did pick up in the second half but not quite enough – until Jurgen Klopp made two substations.
The Liverpool boss put both Divock Origi and Luis Diaz into the game, swapping out Sadio Mané and Naby Keita. The Reds broke the deadlock soon after before finding a late second to wrap things up.
It was a fantastic decision from Klopp and Michael Owen believes the double-change was the true difference-maker in the game.
“After 55 minutes, it was looking a little bit dodgy,” he told Premier League Productions. “Brilliant double substitution and those substitutions made a huge difference to Liverpool.
“It’s great management, it’s man-management, it’s great timing of the substitutes and they certainly made a difference. They changed the game.”
Jurgen Klopp saves Liverpool
Owen is completely right – Klopp changed the game. He did it not only through his personnel, either, but with a rare change of system.
Origi went up top to truly lead the line, with both Diaz and Diogo Jota swapping between the left flank the no.10 role behind him. Mohamed Salah had the right-wing slow sewn up, of course.
And it all greatly increased the pressure on Everton’s box. They had greater numbers to cover and, in Origi, a much more physical presence sticking around their defence.
Liverpool were more flexible, stretched the player more and, quite simply, had more goalscorers on the pitch. Klopp knew what he wanted and delivered exactly that.
Nothing sums that up more than Origi helping to create the first before getting on the end of Diaz’s effort on goal to score the second. The double-change was exactly what the game needed and Klopp deserves full credit here.