Jurgen Klopp has boldly defended Dejan Lovren after his mistake let AS Roma back into the game on Tuesday night.
The Croat had been superb up until the 80th minute, when he misjudged a long ball and enabled Edin Dzeko to control and finish past Loris Karius.
Minutes later, Roma got a soft penalty awarded which was converted to take the shine off a jaw-dropping performance.
We still won 5-2 and are heavy, heavy favourites to progress, but there’s a job to be done in Italy now.
Klopp has refused to blame Lovren, making a comparison to a recognised world-class defender who he used to managed, Mats Hummels.
“I know what people say, ‘that’s Dejan Lovren – world-class and then one mistake’, yet all the big ones make mistakes,” Klopp said, reported in the Metro.
“That happens constantly. Mats Hummels made bigger mistakes, to be honest, and he is a world-class centre-half. It’s not about that.
“We didn’t give any space away; it was not that we were completely open because we are all offensive and then they had one chance after the other. ‘It was not like that, we controlled the game in a very nice football way – good to watch, even for me. ‘Now it is not over, that’s why somebody thought, ‘let’s play one leg here and one leg in Rome’. It is more exciting and that’s what we do now.’”
We’re with Klopp on this one. Lovren was actually superb throughout the almost the entirety of the match, and we easily could have conceded in the first 20 minutes when the visitors were on top if it wasn’t for Virgil van Dijk and his partner.
In Rome, Dzeko will stand on Lovren and his team will try to hit him with long-balls, so the centre-back needs to be on top form.
A three goal cushion though should be enough.