EPL

Jurgen Klopp says Alexis Mac Allister ‘wonder goal’ was Liverpool turning point

By Sports Desk April 04, 2024

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed Alexis Mac Allister’s “wonder goal” for turning around their fortunes in the 3-1 win over Sheffield United.

After Conor Bradley’s own goal early in the second half cancelled out Darwin Nunez’s 17th-minute opener – courtesy of an error by Blades goalkeeper Ivo Grbic – the tension at Anfield increased as a return to the top of the Premier League came into doubt.

However, Mac Allister, Liverpool’s best player over the last month, smashed home a brilliant strike reminiscent of Steven Gerrard’s winner against Olympiacos in 2004 to ease the nerves and Cody Gakpo added a late third.

“We needed Macca’s wonder goal to turn it around,” said Klopp on the Argentina international, who is the first Reds midfielder to score or assist a goal in six consecutive appearances in all competitions since Gerrard in January 2013.

“The third goal was like it should have been before. This kind of moment, Robbo (Andy Robertson) at full speed, wonderful cross, sensational header.”

Mac Allister started the game back as the defensive midfielder, a role he performed for most of the first half of the season, as Wataru Endo was rested, but moved further forward in the second half.

Klopp has fielded questions about the World Cup winner’s best position throughout the campaign but admits he is better in a more advanced position.

“I understand 100 percent that (question) is coming but he played a good game already, it is not him in the wrong position,” added the Reds boss.

“You can play that with a footballing six but all the movements around were not as they should be. You talk is he better as an eight or a six – his defensive part is really good but people were doubting can he be this kind of defensive player.

“I prefer him in an eight but we are not playing in dreamland, We had a problem in the position and it worked out.

“We changed (in the game) and then changed back to a double-six. I don’t know if he scored in the double six but the impact he can have is massive.”

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admits once they had squandered a couple of good early chances the Premier League’s bottom side were always up against it but did not think it would have made that much difference.

“I am not sure scoring early against Liverpool is the greatest of ideas,” he said.

“We knew we would have to give up the ball and be structured and organised and connected. We knew we would have to suffer, stay in the game, take the game deep.

“We were against the best press in the division and hopefully ride your luck and things fall for you, hopefully it becomes the night you get something.

“Yet again Liverpool are finding goals late on. From our point of view it is quite a difficult thing to take.

“You want the players to give everything they have got but physically the gap, it hurts, it cost us tonight.”

Related items

  • Leicester announce Cooper as new manager Leicester announce Cooper as new manager

    Leicester City have announced Steve Cooper as their new manager following Enzo Maresca's move to Chelsea.

    Cooper, who left Nottingham Forest in December 2023, has signed a three-year contract with the Foxes ahead of their return to the Premier League.

    Maresca left the club earlier this month after just one season in charge, having led Leicester back to the top-flight at the first attempt, finishing top of the Championship.

    "I am really excited and proud to be appointed Leicester City's First Team Manager," Cooper said. "This is a fantastic club with a rich history and passionate supporters.

    "I am excited to work with such a talented squad and I'm looking forward to the challenge of achieving our shared ambitions in the Premier League."

    In an open letter to the fans, he added: "Any person who loves football can only look with great respect upon how much this club has achieved in recent years.

    "The Premier League title of 2016 and the FA Cup of 2021 have demonstrated what's possible for a united club. As the new manager, I don’t take that legacy lightly.

    "My job will be to build on those achievements and to bring everyone along – players, staff and fans. Great challenges lie ahead, but I get the feeling that Leicester thrives in these moments. I know we will be ready."

    After taking over in September 2021, Cooper saved Forest from relegation in the Championship and led them to promotion to the Premier League in his first season in charge before ensuring top-flight safety the following year.

    However, he left the club in December with the club sitting in 17th after a run of just one win in 13 matches.

    The Welshman has also previously been in charge of England Under-16s and Under-17s, winning the World Cup with the latter in 2017, and also spent two years at Swansea City.

    Cooper's first competitive game in charge will be at home to Tottenham on August 19.

  • Argentina relishing tough Copa America defence, says Scaloni Argentina relishing tough Copa America defence, says Scaloni

    Lionel Scaloni says Argentina are not resting on their laurels as they prepare for a tough Copa America title defence.

    The Albiceleste won the 2021 edition of the tournament, beating Brazil 1-0 in the final, before lifting the World Cup in Qatar a year later.

    Argentina are among the favourites to lift the trophy again, for what would be a record 16th time, edging past Uruguay, who also have 15.

    However, Scaloni believes they need to put their recent successes behind them ahead of their opening game against Canada on Thursday.

    "We are talking about things that have already passed. [Winning the World Cup and the Copa America] was very nice, but it's over," he said in his press conference.

    "Football matches are all different, there are no easier games than others. A lot of things can happen. The difficulty of France, Brazil or Canada can be the same.

    "It will be a difficult Copa America as always; we are prepared for what is to come. We are doing well, with clear ideas and knowing the difficulty of this tournament.

    "Beyond the titles, we have enjoyed a lot. It's a pleasure to watch how [the players] give their all. That leads to being able to achieve things. We have shown that even if we didn't win like in 2019, we were able to continue and show you can do things."

    Lionel Messi, who is set to break the all-time appearance record in the competition when he features for Argentina, is potentially playing in his final major tournament for the national side, while Angel Di Maria announced he will be retiring at its conclusion.

    Instead of looking to a future without the two star players in his squad, Scaloni urged fans to enjoy getting to see them play together while they still can.

    "It is a pleasure to see them train and play, how they give themselves. I am not worried about the future of Messi and Di Maria.

    "It doesn't make much sense to think about when they're gone. Let's enjoy them now. We'll see what happens later. Messi is fine, he's happy. I have renewed ideas and strength. It's a nice challenge to defend the title."

    Argentina will also face Chile and Peru in Group A.

  • Inter Miami 2-1 Columbus Crew: Fray makes dream return as Herons edge to victory Inter Miami 2-1 Columbus Crew: Fray makes dream return as Herons edge to victory

    Ian Fray made a scoring return from his long injury lay-off, helping Inter Miami to a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew in the MLS on Wednesday.

    Miami, who are without Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez due to their Copa America participation, ensured they stayed top of the Eastern Conference with their second win on the bounce.

    Making his first appearance since July 2023, defender Fray marked his comeback with an early goal, flicking Julian Gressel's corner into the back of the net after just 10 minutes.

    The Herons cemented their control just 11 minutes later when Leonardo Campana latched onto the rebound of his own saved shot to put them 2-0 up.

    However, Cucho Hernandez halved the deficit just before half-time, poking a low effort past Drake Callendar into the bottom-left corner.

    Despite Miami's dominance in the second half, Columbus almost got the deciding goal, but Callendar prevented Cucho from getting a second with a sharp save to ensure the hosts did not drop points.

    Data Debrief: Herons on scoring run

    Miami have now scored in each of their last six matches in the MLS, their longest run since a seven-game streak between March and May earlier this year.

    Gressel has played a key part in that run, contributing to goals in each of his last three appearances for the Herons (one goal, two assists).

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.