Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was delighted with his young central defenders Ozak Kabak and Nat Phillips after they kept a clean sheet against the ‘undefendable’ Wolves star Adama Traore.
The Reds beat Wolves 1-0 at Molineux on Monday night to move up to sixth in the Premier League thanks to a Diogo Jota goal.
Phillips and Kabak appear to be first choice in the heart of defence at the moment, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson all out injured and Fabinho restored to the midfield.
Klopp was very impressed with how they played, especially in dealing with Traore, who he had high praise for.
‘They played a second game in a row together and did really well,’ Klopp told a press conference of Phillips and Kabak. ‘The Leipzig [Champions League] game was difficult but tonight was difficult for completley different reasons
‘The speed of Traore is actually undefendable in moments.
‘The first situation…I didn’t like the start of our game, to be honest, it was not active enough, but that pass in behind, it was clear offside, because the rules they let it run and that had an impact on our last line for a few minutes. We had to get settled again, so we did.
‘From that moment on they played really, really well. I liked it a lot
‘It was a massive task from a concentration point of view, they did really well and I’m really happy.’
Wolves have been badly hurt by the loss of striker Raul Jimenez through injury for much of the season, but this is still a surprisingly poor return from a player who has such immense pace and power.
Nuno Espirito Santo accepts that Traore is not fulfilling his potential at the moment, but when he does, it will be something to behold.
‘The moment that we, him and the team-mates realise how good Adama can be… I hope I will be here to see it, to do it. Because Adama is unique, he’s very special,’ said the Portuguese boss.
‘He’s so special, so unique, that you always want the best to happen to him.
‘Adama is unique, I repeat, when I say unique I say unique all over football. There is no player like Adama.’