Jurgen Klopp believes Jordan Henderson showed he can flourish in a more attacking role as Liverpool took the initiative in their Champions League quarter-final against Porto.
With Fabinho charged with anchoring the Reds’ midfield, Henderson was given licence to roam forward and made a big impression in the 2-0 win at Anfield on Tuesday night.
After Naby Keita had opened the scoring on five minutes, Henderson carved open the Portuguese champions’ defence with a precision pass which allowed Trent Alexander-Arnold to find Roberto Firmino, who doubled the Reds’ lead in the 26th minute.
The five-time European champions had a third goal ruled out for offside after Sadio Mane lashed in Henderson’s pin-point delivery, and Klopp admits he may have finally found the best role for his captain.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 9, 2019
“Hendo’s a brilliant player, I’m really happy that he can show that again,” said Klopp.
“He likes the position obviously. It was my fault that for one-and-a-half years he played as a number six. Sorry for that!
“But we needed him there. It was a really good performance. The second goal was brilliant. He had the cross for Sadio’s ‘goal’ as well. It was a brilliant cross. I like that.
“There were a lot of good performances tonight. It was really mature against a difficult side.”
Klopp believes the combination Henderson struck up on the Reds’ right with Mohamed Salah and Alexander-Arnold played a huge part in securing their advantage heading into the second leg on April 17.
“We deserved the win, 100 per cent,” Klopp added.
“We scored two wonderful goals and were in a lot of really dangerous situations, especially on the right side with Mo and Hendo and Trent coming with the crosses and passes.”
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