Liverpool vs Porto: Jurgen Klopp says 'sorry' to Jordan Henderson for deeper midfield role

Henderson has played as the deepest of a midfield three under Klopp, despite once being a box-to-box player

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Wednesday 10 April 2019 10:25
Jurgen Klopp content as Liverpool take two-goal lead over Porto

Jürgen Klopp said ‘sorry’ to Jordan Henderson for playing him as a holding midfielder for the best part of three years after he excelled in a more advanced position against Porto.

The Liverpool captain was one of his side’s best performers in their 2-0 Champions League quarter-final victory at Anfield on Tuesday night, playing a key part in the second, scored by Roberto Firmino.

Henderson has typically played as the deepest of a midfield three under Klopp, despite being regarded as a box-to-box central midfielder upon his manager’s arrival.

But the 28-year-old scored last Friday against Southampton after coming on as a substitute in a ‘No 8’ role and on Tuesday, he caught the eye once again while playing further upfield.

Klopp jokingly apologised for playing Henderson in a deeper role since the start of the 2016-17 season, but suggested that his captain’s days at the base of midfield are not over yet.

“Hendo’s a brilliant player,” the Liverpool manager said after the final whistle. “I’m really happy that he can show that again. He likes the position obviously.

“It was my fault that for one-and-a-half years he played as a No 6. Sorry for that! But we needed him there.

“It was a really good performance. The second goal was brilliant, but I think he had the cross for Sadio’s [disallowed] ‘goal’ as well. It was a brilliant cross. I like that.”

Klopp was pleased with the ease of his side’s victory over Porto, who only threatened in glimpses on the break.

“There were a lot of good performances tonight,” he added. “It was really mature against a difficult side.

“They were always ready for the counter, they made it quite uncomfortable. But now we played the first game, we know more about each other, and now we go there and play again.”

Liverpool face at return leg at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao next Wednesday, with a place in the Champions League semi-finals against either Barcelona or Manchester United to be contested.

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