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Is this the best team spirit under Klopp? – Last word on Liverpool 3-0 Southampton

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Liverpool’s youngsters again made the headlines as the Reds beat Southampton 3-0, with supporters left in awe at their performances.

Jurgen Klopp‘s team made it into the FA Cup quarter-finals thanks to Wednesday’s victory, with two teenagers playing starring roles at Anfield.

Lewis Koumas opened the scoring, netting on his debut, before Jayden Danns enjoyed a cameo to treasure, scoring twice in the second half.

After the game, Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) and Sam Millne (@sam_millne) discussed the action at Anfield, hailing the young stars and discussing the incredible team spirit on show.

 

That was fun again! What did you make of Liverpool’s performance?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's Lewis Koumas celebrates after scoring the first goal on his debut during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

HENRY: You just can’t believe what you’re watching at the moment! This has been an amazing couple of matches.

Southampton were so dominant to begin with, and I almost started to accept that it would be one game too many for the youngsters.

The performance improved as the game went on, though, and while Koumas’ goal came from nothing, it was a reminder of how this Liverpool side take their chances at the moment.

Aside from Koumas’ goal, which was such a great moment, I thought Bobby Clark was great in midfield, and Kelleher deserves a big mention – he has been Alisson-esque of late.

There is belief running through the veins of this club currently, both on the pitch and in the stands.

SAM: It felt very similar to what we saw against Luton.

The first half was disjointed, but you would expect that given Joe Gomez was playing as a midfielder and there were six under-21s in the side.

We definitely shouldn’t forget the performance of Kelleher, who kept us in the game and allowed us to build confidence to kick on in the second half.

Overall, a good performance, but some senior players could have been better. It is hard to complain, though, given how many players are missing!

 

How about Jayden Danns!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's Jayden Danns celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

HENRY: What a cameo that was.

Danns’ finish for his first goal was so deft and well-timed that he looked like a seasoned veteran – he showed Cody Gakpo a thing or two about finishing on the night!

Perhaps the thing that impressed me most was his anticipation for his second goal, however, reacting so quickly after the save and finishing clinically.

Physically, Danns looks on another level to some of the other youngsters involved, and there is a confidence about him that stands out.

He looks special.

SAM: He does seem to have ‘it’, doesn’t he?

He gave Gakpo a lesson in finishing with that first goal, and the instinct he showed for the second is something we miss when Diogo Jota isn’t in the team.

His cup-final substitute appearance showed he is up to the task physically, and the performance vs. Southampton proved his calmness in front of goal.

Two goals, three appearances and one trophy – and he hasn’t yet started a game for Liverpool!

 

Has the team spirit ever been better than this under Klopp?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates his side's 3-0 victory during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

HENRY: I’m honestly not sure it has been. It’s like the players have gone up another level in terms of dedication since Klopp announced he was leaving.

You can see that this is a football family with everyone pulling in the same direction, and the joy of these last games has felt unrivalled.

The older players are providing great support for the youngsters and there is a sense that something special could happen this season.

This is all mainly down to Klopp, of course, and his genius has really shone through of late, not that it wasn’t obvious already.

SAM: You could argue it has been pretty decent a few times, but this does feel like something extra special.

To come back after losing in Kyiv and finishing second in the 2018/19 Premier League, showed guts.

It is easy to forget, also, how much players like Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi contributed in the quadruple-chasing season of 2021/22.

There weren’t as many injuries to key players then, though, and the unity between fans and the team, combined with the emotion of it being Klopp’s last season, has led to something extraordinary happening at Anfield.

 

What would your team be to play Forest?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 17, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

SAM: Having said all that, we do need to start getting some players back.

It is hard to say who would be in my team to play Forest, mainly due to Klopp likely not knowing who can play, himself, but I think having Szoboszlai and one of Nunez or Salah back, would be a big boost.

It would be a shock if we saw Elliott again, having covered so much ground in the last week, and the energy of Szoboszlai would provide some much-needed energy in midfield.

If he can start alongside Endo and Mac Allister in the middle, Liverpool would have a very good base to build from, even if their forwards aren’t the most clinical.

My XI: Kelleher; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Bradley, Danns, Diaz

HENRY: I would like to think that we will see the return of several big names, but I’m not sure if that will be from the start or not.

I would play Gomez at right-back and push Bradley further up, with Elliott playing in central midfield.

The rest of the back-line picks itself, with Kelleher, Konate, Van Dijk and Robertson starting – Jarell Quansah playing would be fine, though. He was superb last night.

Mac Allister will come back into the midfield and, if Endo isn’t fit, I would take a punt on Szoboszlai, even if he is lacking match fitness.

In attack, it could again be Elliott, Diaz and Gakpo, allowing Salah and Nunez to be impact substitutes, should they not be deemed ready to start.

My XI: Kelleher; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Elliott; Bradley, Diaz, Gakpo