EPL

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hails impact of Alexis Mac Allister’s ‘wonder goal’

By Sports Desk April 05, 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.”

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