Wednesday 28 September 2016

Divock Origi wasted a chance to impress Klopp - Five things we learned from Klopp's first win

Published 29/10/2015 | 08:25

Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool's English midfielder Jordon Ibe following the English League Cup fourth round football match between Liverpool and Bournemouth
Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool's English midfielder Jordon Ibe following the English League Cup fourth round football match between Liverpool and Bournemouth

Liverpool vs Bournemouth - mixed night for Anfield understudies as Roberto Firmino shows glimpses of magic but Divock Origi remains a mystery.

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Roberto Firmino is slowly bedding in at Anfield

£29m remains - even in today's hyperinflated market - a fee that carries instant expectations. Roberto Firmino's exceptional rise from speculative Hoffenheim import to big-money Premier League signing hasn't yielded immediate dividends, but this cup tie represented his best opportunity to show Anfield what he could do.

Ultimately, they saw only glimpses of his undoubted talent - the Brazilian raced through within the first minute but dragged his shot wide. He produced a hasty carbon copy on the hour mark but, in between, gave the quiet crowd something to purr about when he nutmegged Matt Ritchie with aplomb before curling a 25-yard effort into the hands of Adam Federici.

A standing ovation when he was taken off moments before the end - and Sky's Man of the Match award - were a little on the generous side, but this was the most complete attacking performance he has offered so far. A cooler head in the box and he'll be their new hero.

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Divock Origi wasted a chance to impress Klopp

While Firmino intermittently caught the eye, his strike partner Divock Origi was alarmingly anonymous against a patched-up Bournemouth. With Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge sidelined with injury, he had the chance to show Jurgen Klopp that he can step up as an attacking figurehead.

In the end, though, he failed to make his presence felt and many at Anfield will still be wondering exactly what kind of attacking threat he poses. He lacks the fine skills of Sturridge in the final third and certainly doesn't offer the physical presence of Benteke. Bournemouth were wary of his pace over the top and, with space at a premium, he struggled. Klopp will hope that Benteke recovers in time to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

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Threadbare Bournemouth have bigger fish to fry

Despite the return of Harry Arter - a crucial part of their promotion push last season - Bournemouth needed this midweek trip north like a hole in their head.

Fringe players like Junior Stanislas and Yann Kermorgant got their chance - and even a depleted Bournemouth upheld the earnest footballing principles of their manager - but Eddie Howe will have been relieved to come through this match without further injury concerns. A much-improved defensive performance steadied their ship after conceding 10 in their last two games, but their priority remains the uphill battle for Premier League survival.

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Jurgen Klopp won't get carried away with his first win

"I'm really satisfied. Young players, new players...they played really well. Everything is OK."

Klopp, at the fourth time of asking, got his first win in the Liverpool hotseat but he sensibly saw the muted win over the depleted Cherries for what it was.

The performances of Teixeira, Jordon Ibe and Nathaniel Clyne - who popped up with a goal from an unfamiliar left-back position - will have given him encouragement about his new squad. A cup quarter-final, meanwhile, is not to be sniffed at either. Tougher tests - and a trip to Chelsea still counts as one of those - await for Klopp.

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Adam Bogdan is by no means a distant second-choice

Managers often arrive with talk of clean slates for fringe players. Liverpool's Simon Mignolet has had a mixed time since becoming their No.1 and his place remains up for long-term grabs.

The life of a back-up goalkeeper is surprisingly difficult one and, having waited patiently for a chance between the Anfield sticks, Adam Bogdan had an impeccable game against Bournemouth. The visitors began brightly - Junior Stanislas weaved into the box in the fifth minute, only to be foiled by a spreadeagled goalkeeper - and Matt Ritchie's final throw of the dice again forced the 28-year-old into a smart save.

Klopp isn't afraid of big decisions - Bogdan could find himself back in goal sooner than he might expect.

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Telegraph.co.uk

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