Klopp names two Liverpool FC stars who need to improve ahead of Man City clash

The Liverpool FC manager wants Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk to make an adjustment to their game

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Liverpool FC defender Joe Gomez Photo: New Balance

Jurgen Klopp believes Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk still need to work on their defensive partnership ahead of the visit of Manchester City on Sunday evening.

The Merseyside outfit suffered their second defeat of the 2018-19 season on Wednesday night after Liverpool FC lost 1-0 to Serie A side Napoli in the Champions League.

Klopp’s side produced a limp performance as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane lacked fluidity up front to ensure Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina had a relatively comfortable night.

Gomez was one of Liverpool FC’s standout performers in the south of Italy as the England international proved a calming influence on the Reds defence on a rare off night for Virgil van Dijk.

However, the former Charlton Athletic defender was unable to cut out Dries Mertens cross for Lorenzo Insigne, and the Italy international slotted home a 90th minute winer.

Andy Robertson was initially caught out by Jose Callejon’s ball to Mertens before Gomez and Van Dijk were left too stretched to clear the Belgium international’s pass to Insigne for the winner.

Liverpool FC have made defensive improvements in the current campaign and the Reds have conceded three goals in seven games in the Premier League this term.

However, Klopp is demanding more from Gomez and Van Dijk ahead of the visit of defending Premier League champions Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday evening.

“We didn’t close the gap between Joe and Virg, we have to do that, and then we cannot react anymore,” Klopp told his post-match media conference in Italy.

“We didn’t concede a lot of goals in the season but that’s the second of the same kind, so I think we should sort that immediately. But all the rest, I have to accept it and I can accept it.

“I have a big part of that performance, it was my fault for sure, but I need at least one night to watch the game again to know exactly what was the fault. But it looked not like it should have looked.”

Liverpool FC and Manchester City share the best defensive record in the Premier League this season after conceding just three times in the current top flight campaign.

Gomez has emerged as Van Dijk’s first-choice centre-half partner after the England defender seized his chance to shine in the absence of Croatia international Dejan Lovren in the opening weeks.

The 21-year-old has managed to retain his starting spot despite Lovren’s return to fitness following his run to the World Cup final with Croatia in the summer.

Liverpool FC played out a 1-1 draw with title rivals Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge last weekend after Daniel Sturridge cancelled out Eden Hazard’s winner.

The Reds lost 1-0 at Napoli in the Champions League before Liverpool FC continue their tough run of fixtures with a home clash against Manchester City.

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