Joey Barton questions Jurgen Klopp about Liverpool team selection
The ex Man City midfielder raises questions about Jurgen Klopp's team selection for Liverpool's 5-0 loss at The Etihad
Joey Barton has questioned why Jurgen Klopp opted to start Ragnar Klavan ahead of Dejan Lovren for Liverpool’s 5-0 loss at Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds boss opted to hand the Estonia international his first Premier League appearance of the 2017-18 season for the trip to their title rivals at the Etihad Stadium.
Klavan was at fault for Sergio Aguero’s opening goal before Senegal international Sadio Mane was sent off for a reckless challenge on Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson.
Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane secured a resounding win for the Citizens and inflicted upon Liverpool a first Premier League defeat of the season.
Liverpool have already conceded eight times in their opening four Premier League games to raise questions about their defence.
Former Manchester City midfielder Barton admitted that he was surprised to see Klavan named in the Liverpool starting line-up considering Lovren had started their previous three fixtures.
“I was surprised when I saw Liverpool’s starting line-up. You’ve beaten Arsenal 4-0 at home and then you change your backline by taking [Dejan] Lovren out and putting [Ragnar] Klavan in.” Barton told talkSPORT.
“Klavan has not set the world alight as a Liverpool player and, when you’re going to the Etihad, you want your back four to be confident and connected and know where each other is. But after the sending off after they didn’t seem to have any relation to each other, they were all over the joint.
“I don’t think they’d have won with 11 men, the way City were playing it would have been a tough afternoon for them, but you’ve got to be worried about how Liverpool defend.”
Liverpool finished in fourth place in the Premier League table last season to secure a return to the Champions League after a two-season absence.
The Reds signed AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah, Chelsea teenager Dominic Solanke, Hull City defender Andy Robertson and Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer.