Thursday 20 October 2016

Lovren learning but Henderson is out

Dejan Lovren. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Dejan Lovren. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren believes he is a cleverer player having learned from past mistakes.

The Croatia international put in an impressive performance alongside centre-back partner Mamadou Sakho in the 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund in Germany to give his side a chance of progress in next week's Europa League quarter-final second leg.

That was despite walking the disciplinary tightrope of knowing a booking would have ruled him out of what is likely to be a highly-charged return at Anfield.

It was arguably one of the 26-year-old's best performances for the club since arriving in the summer of 2014, having struggled to reproduce the form he showed for Southampton prior to his £20million move.

During his settling-in process Lovren was prone to the odd error or miscalculation and at times he looked timid and reticent and, as a result, failed to dominate opponents.

However, having helped keep Dortmund's attacking three of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus - with 75 goals between them this season - quiet while avoiding any damaging caution showed a maturity befitting of the European occasion.

"It was difficult for me because I want to play every game but when you think about bookings you will get a booking," he said.

"I will do everything for my team but I think I have learned from my mistakes, I think I am a little bit cleverer now. I am more experienced today."

Jordan Henderson has been ruled out for the remainder of Liverpool's season with a lateral collateral knee ligament injury.

It presents manager Jurgen Klopp with a dilemma in midfield ahead of tomorrow's visit of Stoke as Emre Can starts a two-match suspension and Lucas Leiva is still not fit, which means Joe Allen is set for a rare Premier League start.

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