Daniel Sturridge lauded one decision taken by Jurgen Klopp early in the second half during Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Saturday.
There were 54 minutes on the clock when, with the Reds trailing, the manager made a double substitution. Diogo Jota’s withdrawal was enforced due to a muscular injury, with Luis Diaz taking his place, although it was the other change which drew praise from the former Anfield striker.
Ryan Gravenberch was introduced to replace Curtis Jones, and the Sky Sports pundit felt that it was a telling intervention by the 56-year-old.
Speaking on analysis for the broadcaster, Sturridge said: “The change with Gravenberch I thought was very influential in the game and helped them get a result. I like the way he drove with the ball, manipulating it.”
The bare statistics would suggest that Jones actually had a better day than the Dutchman – as per Sofascore, the Scouser had a superior passing success rate (86% to 78%), won more duels (two v zero) and completed more dribbles (one v zero).
However, Gravenberch was generally more proactive in possession than the 22-year-old, with his determination to get forward playing a part in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late equaliser.
The double change came at an ideal time for Liverpool, who had a greater impetus after the Dutch midfielder and Diaz were introduced.
Substitutions can be pivotal in teams earning a positive result or slumping to a negative one, and like Sturridge says, Klopp’s decision to call upon the ex-Bayern Munich ace early in the second half had the desired effect.