Jurgen Klopp has been told that he was wrong to take off Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Darwin Nunez in today’s defeat to Bournemouth.
The Reds were beaten on the road in the Premier League yet again on Saturday afternoon. Philip Billing’s tap-in enough to condemn Liverpool to a 1-0 loss.
Both Nunez and Alexander-Arnold were taken off in the 66th minute of the game, with the Reds a goal down. And speaking to TalkSPORT after the game, Agbonlahor questioned Klopp’s decision-making, saying Nunez in particular looked ‘sharp.’
“The decisions from Klopp as well. You need a goal, you bring Trent off. I love James Milner, I played with him, but Trent? You need a goal, you keep him on. Nunez was sharp, he brings him off. I thought Jurgen Klopp got it wrong today,” said the former England striker.
Agbonlahor was also typically opinionated about the only goal of the game, singling out Virgil van Dijk for some ‘woeful’ defending.
“Do they want to get top four? Do they want Bellingham to look at them in the summer, to come to Liverpool? I just don’t understand that performance today,” said the pundit. “For the goal, Van Dijk, he just left the winger to run through, cross it, no one’s picking up Billing in the box, tap-in. The defending was woeful.”
Nothing controversial about Klopp subs
Agbonlahor is the second pundit to suggest that Klopp should have left Nunez on at the Vitality Stadium today. Jermaine Jenas echoed his viewpoint earlier in the day.
But from where we were sitting, Klopp’s decision to hook Darwin wasn’t especially controversial. Most of the time, we’re all for leaving Darwin on wherever possible. He’s nearly always a goal threat and can often create something from nothing.
Today though, he just didn’t look at it. During almost every game there’s a moment where the 23-year-old has his marker absolutely on toast. But try as he might, it just wasn’t happening for Nunez at Bournemouth.
As a result, and with Real Madrid coming up on Wednesday, we were fine with Klopp taking him off. It wasn’t as though Liverpool were creating much and in Roberto Firmino they were able to bring on a quality replacement.
In Trent’s case, we couldn’t really argue too much either. Yes, the 24-year-old is usually good for a moment of magic, but he’d had over an hour to create one and didn’t show any signs of a breakthrough. As he’s played more often than most this season, it made sense to try something different and give him a rest. Just one of those days.
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