‘Saved our lives…’ – Klopp salutes Liverpool hero who provided ‘the real story’ v Southampton

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There have been so many heroic performers for Liverpool this season, and Jurgen Klopp has singled out one man who’s ‘saved our lives’ on numerous occasions.

Lewis Koumas and Jayden Danns naturally grabbed the headlines after the 3-0 win over Southampton last night, with both scoring their first senior goals for the Reds, although the manager was keen to salute a more experienced player who was handed an unprecedented task.

Joe Gomez is accustomed to alternating between various roles in our defence, but on Wednesday he was entrusted with playing as a number six for the first time in his career (Transfermarkt), and the German was astounded by what the 26-year-old delivered.

Klopp told the media after the match (via liverpoolfc.com): “Joe Gomez saved our lives until now 20 times and the kids kept us in the competition. We can talk about the [academy] boys for the next four hours if you want but the real story today, besides the goals, is actually Joe Gomez.

“For the first time on that position, in the middle of the park with chaos around him because nothing was settled, I couldn’t respect it more.”

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It’s fair to say that Gomez was an unsung hero for Liverpool last night, stepping into an unfamiliar defensive midfield role with a minimum of fuss and providing an experienced steady hand for Bobby Clark and James McConnell immediately ahead of him.

The 26-year-old looked tidy in the number six position, winning three of his five duels, completing 91% of his passes (59 out of 65) and making three clearances (Sofascore), although the less said about the shot that he skied into the Anfield Road Stand in the first half the better!

The Reds’ longest-serving current player has been a consistent and crucial performer throughout a campaign which has seen most of his teammates succumb to injury at various points, mimicking a Swiss Army knife in diligently fulfilling a multitude of functions as the situation necessitates.

It’s great to see Klopp stressing the importance of Gomez to Liverpool not just against Southampton, but right throughout the season. Players like the Londoner must be an absolute blessing to any manager, ably stepping in to do whatever job necessary and invariably completing the task to the required standard.

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