Liverpool show much needed calmness in Klopp’s first win
JURGEN KLOPP’S first victory as Liverpool manager was secured via the unlikeliest of sources as defender Nathaniel Clyne scored the only goal to beat Bournemouth 1-0.
The England defender, playing in an unfamiliar left-back position, netted his first goal for the club he joined in the summer to book a Capital One Cup quarter-final place.
Clyne would not have been many people’s choice as the match-winner but after three successive draws Klopp was more than happy to take it after making nine changes from the side which drew at home to Southampton on Sunday.
The German handed first starts to academy graduates Joao Teixeira, Cameron Brannagan and Connor Randall, making his debut, and all fared well.
However, the result could have turned out very differently had the visitors taken advantage of a great opportunity inside five minutes.
Junior Stanislas cut inside Lovren, leaving the Croatia international on his backside, but gave Adam Bogdan the chance to save with his legs.
The Bournemouth midfielder had two other chances in the first half with a close-range header and free-kick but on both occasions the Liverpool goalkeeper was more than a match.
Liverpool grew into the game and Roberto Firmino began to impress, and his pass picked out the perfectlytimed run of Teixeira who, showing the cockiness of youth, backheeled past Adam Federici and although Adam Smith got back to clear off the line Clyne fired home the weak clearance.
It may have been because it was only the League Cup, but there was none of the previous anxiety a 1-0 lead would have held heading into the last 20 minutes.
The Kop appeared much more relaxed and that seemed to filter down to the players with Teixeira’s confidence still on a high as he forced Federici into a good save.
But with no alarms at the other end, Liverpool held on to a lead for only the fourth time this season to offer yet more progress for Klopp.
RELIEF: Jurgen Klopp was animated throughout the Capital One Cup clash as he finally claimed his first win as Liverpool manager after beginning with three frustrating draws