5 talking points from Liverpool's 5-1 win vs Sparta Prague

Liverpool beat Sparta Prague 5-1 in the first leg of their Europa League Last 16 meeting. Here are five talking points from the game.

One risk too many?

Jurgen Klopp didn't take too many chances with his starting XI. No abundance of kids here in what was a very strong team, but also one that didn't risk fitness.

Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai both started on the bench, with Conor Bradley and Virgil van Dijk also out of the XI for once. It was a team that offered plenty of hints for the plan against Manchester City.

The downside? Ibrahima Konaté went off early in the second half, bringing Van Dijk on earlier than planned. We'll see how that affects things at the weekend, though the Frenchman did walk off.

Darwin notches no.1000

Darwin Nunez put on a show here. He only played 49 minutes but managed to score two fantastic goals that essentially killed the tie.

The first saw him compoase himself before sending a swirling shot over the goalkeeper from the edge of the box. The second was a first-time finish to send a bouncing ball into the far corner from distance.

Just two moments of magic from a player in fantastic form.

His first was also notable for being the 1000th Liverpool goal under Jurgen Klopp - a historic one, then. A no better player to score it than someone who is epitomising the German's style of play right now.

Kelleher incredible once again

Caoimhin Kelleher has one of the most difficult tasks going in living up to Alisson Becker. He's somehow doing it.

The Irishman came into this one on the back of three clean sheets and was bitterly unlucky not to make it four. His first-half save was world-class, and he then provided another brilliant stop to tip a dipping ball over the bar.

Jurgen Klopp has long said he's the best no.2 goalkeeper in football. He's certainly playing like that right now.

Much-needed result

Liverpool have some enormous games coming up. The big win here just eliminated one of them - the Reds can go into the second leg next week with a four-goal headstart.

That should allow plenty of rest ahead of the FA Cup clash with Manchester United before the international break. And it means Klopp and co. won't be worrying about that fixture during the big one this Sunday.

A positive game all-around, then - except for that Konaté injury.

Onto the Man City game

Liverpool's attention now turns to Manchester City and the biggest game of the season this Sunday. A win would leave the Reds as title favourites.

They very nearly set themselves up perfectly here. Darwin Nunez got 49 minutes, Dominik Szoboszlai and Mo Salah both got second-half minutes, and they were able to rotate well in midfield across the 90 minutes.

Of course, the Konaté injury (we'll mention it one more time) is an issue. If it turns out to be nothing, then this was exactly what Liverpool needed going into Sunday.

Share This Article