Three things Klopp got right as Liverpool save quadruple hopes vs Aston Villa

Jurgen Klopp punched the air with delight after watching Liverpool keep their slim hopes of achieving an unprecedented quadruple alive, after coming from a goal down to beat Aston Villa 2-1.

Klopp's men hit back from an early setback after Douglas Luiz put the hosts ahead, with Joel Matip taking advantage of sloppy defending to equalise with a close-range finish.

Sadio Mane missed a golden chance to put the Reds into the lead in the first half but the winger soon made amends, heading home from Luis Diaz's cross to hand the Reds a crucial win in their battle for the Premier League title. Daily Star Sport looks at three things Klopp got right on a tense evening in the Midlands.

What Klopp got right

Mane steps up again

The craze is all about Luis Diaz at the moment, but Sadio Mane is reminding everyone why he remains one of the world's top attacking talents. No player has scored more goals for Liverpool since Mane returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in February, with 12 in all competitions. It is easy to forget that last season was perhaps his worst in his career, but Klopp persevered.

And he stepped up to hand the Merseyside outfit a huge goal just when they were desperately searching for inspiration. He had spent most of the night frustrated in his central role and missed the target by inches with a header in the first half.

But when presented with a second chance, the Senegalese was never going to pass it up again. Diaz's cross had enough pace and accuracy for the 30-year-old to steer it into the far corner, sparking wild celebrations in the away end. In his six years at the club, Mane has delivered countless of important goals, but there may be none more pivotal than this.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do Liverpool have what it takes to seal an incredible quadruple this season? Comment below.

Salah bench gamble pays off

Mohamed Salah was left on the bench in a surprise move from Jurgen Klopp, given that it was pretty much win or bust for Liverpool in the title race. But the decision to rest the Egyptian paid off as the Merseyside outfit showed they could win without their talisman.

Salah's form and general fitness looked to have nosedived after playing in the majority of Liverpool's games this season and resting him looked like a sensible call. After all, it's not as if Klopp doesn't have the depth to soften the blow, with Diaz, Mane and Diogo Jota all fit to start up front for Liverpool in a frontline that would make other Premier League sides quiver in their boots.

While the Reds' trifecta were strangely off-colour in the first half, they found their rhythm in the second and it was Diaz and Mane who combined for the crucial second goal. Once Klopp knew his side were in a winning position, he sent on Salah for some minutes to keep him fit and it is this kind of player management that has helped Liverpool challenge on four fronts this year.

No regrets over Coutinho snub

When asked whether Philippe Coutinho could return to Liverpool back in 2020, Klopp dodged the question but hinted the Reds were happy for him to be elsewhere. "Phil was our boy for a long time. We respect him a lot and wish him all the best," he said. "That's how football should be. That's the most important thing the club showed in that moment."

Quite simply, Liverpool have moved on and improved in his absence. Although they seem to lack a genuine No10 in their formation, it could be argued that with Mane through the middle and Thiago Alcantara as a No.6, Klopp has all the creativity he needs. Here, the midfielder struggled to influence the game as Liverpool dominated the central areas, somewhat proving Klopp was correct to decide against re-signing him from Barcelona.

It would have been easy for Klopp to bring back the playmaker two years ago, but he would be surely warming the bench rather than starting if he did. And it just goes to show to his current crop of stars that the grass isn't always greener elsewhere – and if you leave, you do so at your peril.

What Klopp got wrong

Lack of experience an error

Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara have been here before several times in their careers where matches of high magnitude require composure and leadership on the pitch. Klopp left both players out of his starting XI and it was no surprise to see Liverpool lacking control in the midfield.

Perhaps the 54-year-old felt it was time to freshen things up by introducing Naby Keita and Curtis Jones, but the pair are not as effective as Henderson or Thiago in taking the game by the scruff of its neck. In a game that had more turnovers than an NFL match, Liverpool desperately lacked an orchestrator in the centre of the park and he only turned to Henderson when Fabinho came off injured.

Jones showed a lot of endeavour and tried to make things happen with some long-range efforts. But Klopp, perhaps choosing pace over experience, may regret his selection choices when reflecting on the game.

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