Liverpool continued their great form in the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Porto on Wednesday night, but Michael Owen feels there is a cause for concern in the Reds’ squad
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Jurgen Klopp reviews FC Porto victory
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp handed Ibrahima Konate an opportunity to impress in the Champions League on Wednesday night, and former player Michael Owen feels the Frenchman did not take it.
The Reds beat Porto 2-0 in good style, but the Portuguese outfit will certainly leave Anfield feeling that they should have taken at least one of their chances.
Thiago opened the scoring for Klopp’s side with a sweet strike from 25 yards that whistled into the back of the net to send the Kop into a frenzy in the 52nd minute.
Mohamed Salah then made it two 18 minutes later when he cut in off of the right-wing and fired a fierce strike into the near post.
Konate looked shaky on the ball against Porto
But despite the two top-quality goals, Klopp may feel that defensively his team were not as sound as usual, and Owen pinpointed summer signing as the issue.
Speaking at half-time, the 41-year-old told BT: “It’s a huge game for Porto and they have got in once or twice,
“Konate worries me a little bit, I must say.
“He presses a little bit, he comes in and likes to mark men and a lot of the time he gets done in behind.
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“A couple of times there, we missed one or two off the reel we could’ve shown where people are getting in behind him so I think they’ve just got to be careful without [Virgil] Van Dijk there.”
Klopp, understandably rested Virgil Van Dijk for the tie as Liverpool confirmed their spot in the knockout stages with a victory over Atletico Madrid in the last round of fixtures.
Instead, the former Borussia Dortmund boss played Konate alongside the ever-reliable Joel Matip, but the pairing appeared to be on different wavelengths for the most part.
Owen added: “Communication might be key between them. They don’t strike me as two players, Matip and Konate, that are going to speak to each other much.
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Konate can take confidence from keeping a clean sheet against a pacey Porto attack
“They’ve looked a little bit vulnerable. They need to tighten that up.”
Konate was the Reds’ sole signing over the summer, joining from RB Leipzig for £34million, but hasn’t managed to nail down a starting spot in Klopp’s side consistently just yet.
However, the confidence boost of keeping a clean sheet without playing alongside, arguably, the best central defender in the world could give him a major mental boost.
But Klopp was not overly happy with his side after the final whistle sounded despite his side picking up 15 points from an available 15 in the Champions League so far this season.
Klopp had mixed feelings after his side’s victory on Wednesday night
Speaking after the game the Germain said: “We could have lost this game tonight, we gave chances away when they could have scored so we should not make too much of it as we were lucky in moments,
“We had moments when we were not cool to play against; I didn’t expect that tonight because we changed decisive things, to be honest.
“A lot of good things happened tonight but I’m not sure we should make the mistake of saying we are this or that again.”
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