Jurgen Klopp’s post-match interview was almost as enjoyable as the game itself for Liverpool fans, with the German in superb spirits having just watched his side dismantle Manchester City.
Fans were especially buoyant because Jon Flanagan clearly specifically targeted our former winger Raheem Sterling and clattered him on numerous occasions, and the manager noticed it as well.
“I’m not sure Flanagan and Sterling are best friends!” Klopp said!
The boss though went on to praise Flanagan’s entire performance, with the fullback brought in at Alberto Moreno’s expense. The young Spaniard offers more going forward but it such a defensive liability we really hope Flanagan keeps his spot at right-back with Nathaniel Clyne playing on the other side.
“After 20-something months out he played so smart and so clever,” Klopp continued, via the Echo.
“In the first half he showed his opponent (Sterling) ‘maybe we were friends a few months ago but not for tonight’!
“In the second half he saved energy by not going forward as much and was really clever.
“When we’ve spoken about Flanno, we talk about 20 months, not about quality. But now we need to see what we can do with him.
“The Premier League is about Sunday, Wednesday, Sunday, Wednesday so we will have to think about this.
“That’s why we have to judge the intensity a little bit. That’s all.”
Flanagan though didn’t look tired and actually relished the challenge. For us, he surely must be the first-choice ahead of Moreno now, who’s had plenty of chances to impress and not covered himself in glory in quite some time.
Not only did Flanagan make hearty tackles and position himself cleverly, but he passed the ball at the right times as well – making one telling through-ball in the second-half.
Liverpool next face Crystal Palace at the weekend before our Europa League double-header with Manchester United, huge fixtures Flanagan would relish.
Sadly, he’s not in the Europa League squad, meaning Moreno will have to come back into the side for the grudge Last 16 tie. Let’s hope the decision to leave him out doesn’t come back to haunt us.