Jurgen Klopp put a lot of faith in Jordan Henderson ahead of the FA Cup final against Chelsea. Liverpool’s captain repaid it all.
Liverpool suffered a major blow ahead of the FA Cup final. Fabinho limped off against Aston Villa, ruling him out until the UEFA Champions League final on May 28th.
Jurgen Klopp wasn’t overly worried, however. He promised that Jordan Henderson was capable of stepping up into the holding midfield role and deliver on cup final day.
“We have a few players[ who can help out],” he said, per the Mirror. “Hendo came on [at Villa] and played incredible, he has played super games this season at 6 so that is not a problem.”
Henderson has played remarkably well there down the years, so Klopp’s faith wasn’t exactly a shock. Still, he asked his captain to fill in for one of the world’s best in the position – and the Liverpool man delivered in every way.
Jordan Henderson delivers in FA Cup final
So Henderson played the sitting role here and performed exactly the role Liverpool needed. He was safe in possession, willing to stop counter-attacks and marshalled the team through a difficult game.
And this was a difficult game. Liverpool visibly tired throughout the second time and couldn’t really muster anything in extra time. They needed their captain’s leadership, as they often do in games like this, and Henderson, of course, provided it.
But his worth in the role is best seen in his stats. Henderson, for instance, won three tackles in this game – only Trevor Chalobah won more for either side. The Liverpool man did so at a 100% success rate, though, which no one could better.
Henderson was also a metronomic presence in the middle to keep Liverpool ticking over. Only Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago had more touches, while Henderson boasted an 89% passing success rate. The only midfielder in the match to beat that was Mason Mount, who completed well under half the number of passes (67 to 23).
That was exactly what Liverpool needed from Henderson, then. He was reliable in the middle, made few mistakes with the ball and won it back whenever he had to. Klopp was absolutely right to trust him.