Jurgen Klopp believes a tactical tweak with Harvey Elliott instantly made Liverpool more dangerous against Manchester United. The teenager changed his position mid-match.
Liverpool suffered a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday in what was a strange game. Jurgen Klopp essentially used it as a training exercise – 32 players featured as the boss prioritised fitness.
But the Reds weren’t anywhere near as bad as the scoreline suggests. In fact, they were statistically the better side and certainly didn’t deserve to be on the end of a hiding. United simply took their changes very well as Liverpool failed to.
There were positives to take away from this one, though. We saw some young players shine, for instance, while Klopp was eager to point out the difference Harvey Elliott made after a tactical tweak.
Elliott started the game on the right flank but moved into his midfield position at one stage. That, says Klopp, instantly made the side more dangerous.
“The thing is, when an opponent is playing like United in this moment – with this man-marking idea – you need to be a little bit more flexible,” he told a press conference. “So when Harvey came in the middle, we were dangerous. Same when [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] got the ball in the half-space.
“But you’re right, Harvey is a really good player. No one should be surprised about that.”
The Harvey Elliott tweak
Klopp first started to shift Elliott’s position a year ago. Having thrived on the wing at Blackburn Rovers on loan, the teenager’s return to Liverpool brought about a move into midfield.
Of course, Elliott’s injury last season stopped the experiment short – but he did initially thrive in the role. It certainly sounds as though Klopp still sees the youngster’s future there.
And we go along with that, too. Elliott looks tailor-made for the midfield role and it’s one that could lead to great things this season. We expect Liverpool will move towards a more attacking midfield – and Elliott will be at the centre of that.