Jurgen Klopp hits back at defensive critics following narrow Liverpool win over West Ham

Jurgen Klopp hits back at defensive critics following narrow Liverpool win over West Ham

Jurgen Klopp hit back at claims that Liverpool defender Trent Alexander Arnold needs to work on his defending following a questionable performance against West Ham.

As effective as ever in the final third, Alexander-Arnold provided the assist for Sadio Mane’s goal, in what proved to be the game’s decisive strike. However, it was in his own third that the English defender was time and time again caught out as he struggled to deal with West Ham’s direct playstyle.

It is far from the first time that the defender has been exposed in this way, with games against Real Madrid and Inter Milan over the last 12 months also seeing the Liverpool man struggle.

Jurgen Klopp, however, believes that it is unfair to point to the Englishman as a defensive weakness, although he did concede that he can still improve.

‘Absolutely I don’t understand [defensive criticism]’, he told the media after the West Ham clash. ‘If he couldn’t defend he wouldn’t play. He has improved in all departments but he is still so young he can improve. His defending is not a problem.’

‘When you see him playing, we help him a little bit with positions so he can be influential with his quality in the right foot. He’s really in this situation, focused to set up goals. He knows the dangerous situations and he plays the ball there.’

Liverpool keep the pressure on

Despite late scares, Liverpool did eventually hold on to all three points against the Hammers, meaning that they keep the gap on Pep Guardiola’s side to just 3 points, with the Citizens hosting Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

Should they fail to get a result, the gap will continue to decrease, and the title race would be well and truly back on.

Read more:

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This article was edited by
Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 27 47 66
2 Liverpool FC 27 51 63
3 Chelsea FC 26 35 53
4 Manchester United 27 10 47
5 West Ham United 28 11 45
6 Arsenal FC 24 11 45
7 Tottenham Hotspur 25 3 42
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 1 40
9 Southampton FC 27 -7 35
10 Crystal Palace 28 1 33
11 Aston Villa 26 0 33
12 Leicester City 25 -3 33
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 27 -6 33
14 Newcastle United 26 -16 28
15th Brentford FC 28 -15th 27
16 Leeds United 27 -32 23
17 Everton FC 24 -13 22
18 Burnley FC 26 -14 21
19 Watford FC 26 -22 19
20 Norwich City 27 -42 17
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 19
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 12
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 9
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 9
Tony, Ivan Brentford FC 9
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 9
Rafinha Leeds United 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 9
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 8
Antonio, Michael West Ham United 8
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 8
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 8
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 8
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 8
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 8

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