EPL

Wijnaldum was almost subbed before his winner, reveals Liverpool boss Klopp

By Sports Desk September 28, 2019

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed he almost substituted Georginio Wijnaldum shortly before his decisive goal in Saturday's 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

The Reds had struggled to break down Chris Wilder's spirited side and looked destined to drop points in the Premier League for the first time this season.

Netherlands international Wijnaldum ensured they made it seven wins out of seven, though, when his volley from the edge of the penalty area squirmed through the grasp of goalkeeper Dean Henderson 20 minutes from time at Bramall Lane. 

Klopp says he was close to bringing the midfielder off six minutes earlier but ultimately opted to introduce Divock Origi at the expense of Jordan Henderson.

"It was an offensive change," the Reds boss told a media conference. "We had the opportunity to take off either Hendo or Gini. Both worked hard; for both it was not an easy game.

"Obviously I made the right decision as Gini stayed on the pitch and scored!"

"We wanted to change our approach so we could have then Roberto [Firmino] finally between the lines but still an option in behind with Mo [Salah]. We needed to defend the wings properly because they were there constantly.

"Divock made a proper impact when he came on. It was really helpful that we could pass the ball there for the one-on-one situations and I think he crossed the ball before the goal as well."

Liverpool were far from their fluid best against Wilder's well-drilled side and Klopp says the Blades can feel hard done by in not holding on to secure a point.

"All respect to Sheffield United," he added. "They did really well and they did that over 90 minutes; that really deserves all the respect.

"We still had big chances and then we had luck around the goal, that is clear. It was not our biggest chance in the game and it was unlucky for Sheffield United for sure.

"So, if it had been a draw I would sit here and say that's how it was today, Sheffield United deserved it and that's what we deserved.

"I don't think we would have deserved to lose but a draw was there if we didn't take the chances. But we got the three points and that leaves me pretty happy at the moment, obviously."

Related items

  • LaLiga would have ended if Real Madrid were top, says former Barcelona president LaLiga would have ended if Real Madrid were top, says former Barcelona president

    Former Barcelona president Joan Gaspart claimed LaLiga would have been cancelled if Real Madrid were top of the table when the season was suspended.

    The LaLiga campaign is set to get back underway next month, with Barcelona holding a two-point lead over Madrid with 11 games left to play.

    But Gaspart, who was Barca president from 2000 to 2003, said it would have been different if Madrid were leading the league when it was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    "If Madrid had finished as leader before the confinement, LaLiga would have ended," he told Tertulia del 10 del Barca, via AS, on Wednesday.

    While Barcelona will aim to clinch the LaLiga title, they continue to be linked with former star Neymar, who could return to the club from Paris Saint-Germain.

    Gaspart hopes the Brazil international ends up back at Camp Nou, where he left in 2017 for a world-record €222million.

    "I would love to see Neymar at Barca. I understand that he can still contribute," he said.

    "What I don't know is the fine print. I forgive what it takes to get him back. I would like him to play for Barca."

  • Juventus signing Kulusevski hoping to emulate De Bruyne Juventus signing Kulusevski hoping to emulate De Bruyne

    Juventus signing Dejan Kulusevski hopes he can become as good as Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne.

    Kulusevski, 20, was bought by Juve for €35million in January before being sent back to Parma on loan for the remainder of the season.

    The Swedish attacker said he had watched De Bruyne closely and is hoping he can emulate the Belgium star.

    "He is one of the top five players in the world," Kulusevski told Sky Sport on Wednesday.

    "I study a lot because he is a phenomenal player and because I want to become like [him], but also stronger.

    "Among my habits is to watch many games, because I learn a lot from my colleagues."

    Kulusevski was also linked with a move to Inter before deciding to sign with Juventus.

    The former Atalanta man said Juve coach Maurizio Sarri was one of the key reasons he chose the Serie A champions.

    "One of the reasons why I chose the Bianconeri was Sarri," Kulusevski said.

    "I think I can do very well and learn a lot with him. I watched all his Chelsea games."

  • Coronavirus: Aston Villa coach Dean Smith's father dies Coronavirus: Aston Villa coach Dean Smith's father dies

    Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith's father Ron has died after contracting coronavirus, the Premier League club have confirmed.

    Ron, like Dean, was a lifelong Villa supporter and previously worked as a steward at Villa Park.

    He had been in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, having spent the past six years in a care home after being diagnosed with dementia.

    A club statement read: "The Aston Villa family are saddened to announce that Ron Smith, the father of our current head coach Dean, has passed away at the age of 79.

    "Ron, who had recently been living in a care home after being diagnosed with dementia six years ago, contracted coronavirus four weeks ago and, after a short spell in hospital, passed away with his family at his side."

    Villa added: "The thoughts of everyone at the football club are currently with Dean and his family at this most distressing of times and would kindly ask for the family's privacy to be respected."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.