Jurgen Klopp caught Jamie Carragher off guard with his decision on Harvey Elliott vs Southampton tonight. The youngster started the game.
Liverpool put out a weakened team against Southampton tonight but Jurgen Klopp didn’t really have a choice. The Reds played 120 minutes in the FA Cup final on Saturday, after all – the first-XI was exhausted.
And Klopp got away with it, too. Liverpool squeezed out a 2-1 win at St Mary’s, beating the Saints and keeping the pressure on Manchester City until the very last day. It’s going to be a tense one.
The team tonight saw Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz all out of the starting lineup. The fact that Liverpool won was quite remarkable, then, and it’s a testament to the remarkable depth at the club.
In fact, Jamie Carragher was ‘surprised’ that one of the squad players didn’t play more. He thought Harvey Elliott was ‘excellent’ and couldn’t believe he went off on 65 minutes.
“He’s been very good,” he told Sky Sports. “He’s been out for a while and hasn’t played too often.
“Maybe that’s one of those subs that the manager has been thinking about before the game. I am slightly surprised he’s gone off. It certainly wasn’t to do with performance. He’s been excellent.”
Harvey Elliott vs Southampton
We can see where Carragher is coming from – Elliott was very good. But Klopp’s thinking was sound. He wanted to boost the attack with Divock Origi but knew he had to keep things relatively solid in midfield. Keeping Curtis Jones on – a more experienced, physical presence than Elliott – made sense in that regard.
But it was another start for Elliott and one that will do him well. He’s a player we’re all incredibly excited about, of course, and even 65 minutes benefits him.