Klopp allays Thiago injury concerns and praises teenager Gordon after win over Shrews

By Sports Desk January 09, 2022

Jurgen Klopp allayed concerns over Thiago Alcantara's hip injury after Liverpool beat Shrewsbury Town 4-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Thiago has missed the last three matches, raising fears the midfielder could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Reds manager Klopp does not expect the Spain international to be out of action for too long, though.

Asked if Thiago could be out for the rest of the season, Klopp said: "No, neither March nor [the] end of the season is in my mind.

"It is something around the hip, that is the situation and it needs time now. He didn't train this week but we expect him to be back to do rehab stuff from tomorrow on and then we will see.

"No, it is not that he is out until the end of the season, not at all."

Klopp praised Kaide Gordon and was impressed with the way his Liverpool side fought back to set to an FA Cup fourth round time at home to Cardiff City.

Daniel Udoh gave the Shrews a shock lead, but their joy was short-lived on Merseyside.

Gordon became the second-youngest goalscorer in the Reds' history at the age of 17 years and 96 days, equalising with a clinical finish after taking a good touch to control the ball inside the penalty area.

Fabinho put Liverpool in front with a penalty just before half-time and struck again with the final kick of the game after Roberto Firmino came off the bench to find the back of the net with a cheeky backheel.

Klopp, back on the touchline following an absence due to his positive COVID-19 test, was not surprised to see former Derby County teenager Gordon make his mark.

He told BBC Sport: "He's a real talent and his main strength is his finishing."  

With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Liverpool were further depleted by the loss of Trent Alexander-Arnold to COVID-19 for the tie.

Elijah Dixon-Bonner and Max Woltman made their first senior starts as Klopp went with a mixture of youth and experience.

The German said: "We've trained since Friday pretty much and that is what we decided with this line-up. The boys really fought hard.

"When you get the first goal against you so many things can happen, but I liked the way we responded.

"We started with five really young boys. They are really good players. We played so many safety passes in the first half. We knew we could play better football in the second half."

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    Reigning champions Manchester City sit top of the Premier League pile with six matches remaining after second-placed Arsenal and the third-spotted Reds suffered shock defeats on Sunday.

    Liverpool’s 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace compounded Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League quarter-final defeat at the hands of Atalanta in what could prove Klopp’s final European night at Anfield.

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    Liverpool are hoping for an almighty change in fortunes at Atalanta on Thursday, when the second leg could see Alexander-Arnold make his first start since February 10.

    Every one of his appearances for his boyhood club have come under Klopp, to whom the homegrown star is eternally grateful.

    “Incredible, really,” Alexander-Arnold said. “I owe everything to him, really, as a player.

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