Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp learns three valuable lessons as makeshift Reds defeat Arsenal

A makeshift Liverpool team without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane progressed to the Carabao Cup final thanks to a 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Diogo Jota stepped up in the absence of the prolific duo to send Jurgen Klopp’s side to Wembley.  

Jota scored midway through the first half, cutting inside after a fine team move to wrong-foot Aaron Ramsdale. He added a second after VAR ruled that he had beaten the offside trap on 78 minutes.  

The Portugal star started in a front three alongside Roberto Firmino and 17-year-old ace Kaide Gordon, who scored his first senior goal in the FA Cup victory against Shrewsbury.  

Liverpool were impressive throughout the second leg of the tie, limiting the Gunners to few chances. 

Express Sport picks out three things Klopp might have learned on the night.

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Konate can be Van Dijk’s permanent partner 

Frenchman Ibrahima Konate replaced Joel Matip at half-time and played well in the second half.

The 22-year-old kept Arsenal at bay alongside Virgil Van Dijk. He could perhaps make an argument that he can be the Dutchman’s permanent partner.  

Konate defended solidly and struck the post with a header. Jordan Henderson was offside as he attempted to convert the rebound. 

The former RB Leipzig defender has solved the final issue Klopp had in defence.

Jota has stepped up in the absence of Salah and Mane

When Liverpool needed a hero without Salah and Mane, and following a dismal goalless stalement in the first leg, Jota delivered. 

He cut inside and finished smartly past Ramsdale in the first half. His second goal was vastly different, running in behind to convert. That ability to score different types of goals is hardly widespread in the Liverpool squad. 

The former Wolves forward played in a slightly unfamiliar left-wing role at the Emirates Stadium but still contributed the most important moments. 

His goals were his 13th and 14th of an impressive campaign. Jota has proved that he can step up when Liverpool’s two key forwards are unavailable. 

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