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JORDAN HENDERSON is thriving in a more advanced position for Liverpool and was able to play a key role for his side when they defeated Porto on Tuesday evening.
Prior to their dramatic comeback against Southampton last weekend, Henderson had contributed directly to none of Liverpool’s goals this season.
No goals and no assists for the captain, but that all changed in what could be a defining moment for a player who could yet lift Liverpool’s first league trophy in the Premier League era.
Against Southampton, Henderson came off the bench with half an hour to go and the score at 1-1 and changed the tone of the game. He added what his manager, Jurgen Klopp, referred to “verbal aggression,” but he also chipped in with an assist and a fiercely celebrated goal.
His performance on the south coast was rewarded with a place in the starting line-up against Porto, and he put in another good display, setting up the second goal with an incisive through-ball to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Klopp had praise for the England international and, only half joking, admitted that he might be to blame for his poor form earlier in the season.
“Hendo is a brilliant player and I’m really happy that showed that again,” said Klopp.
“He likes the position, obviously! It was my fault that for one-and-a-half years, pretty much, he played the No 6. Sorry for that! But we needed him there.
“It was a really good performance. [His role in] the second goal was brilliant. The cross which Sadio scored as well, it was an inch offside, but it was still a brilliant cross.”
Henderson’s attacking midfield partner Naby Keita is also coming into form at the right time. The Guinean opening the scoring after five minutes with a shot which deflected off Porto’s Oliver Torres, and went on to put in a tireless 90 minute shift.
Liverpool host Chelsea on Sunday in what is arguably the trickiest of their remaining games, and there’s no reason why Klopp won’t continue with this surprisingly trusty midfield line-up.
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