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Liverpool is about decovering it’s own Marcus Rashford for Jurgen Klopp



Liverpool can only be jealous of an elite trait instilled in Erik ten Hag, but Jurgen Klopp will soon be able to emulate the threat of Marcus Rashford.

Last week, arch-rivals Manchester United beat Barcelona 2-1 to secure a place in the Europa League round of 16. He has since triumphed over Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final, but it is continental play that provides more telling insight into the task Jurgen Klopp now faces.

The first leg at the Camp Nou ended in a 2-2 draw, with Marcus Rashford and an own goal from Jules Koundé fending off goals from Marcos Alonso and Raphinha. The Red Devils then found themselves trailing overall in the second leg after Robert Lewandowski’s half-time penalty. But Fred would equalize for Erik ten Hag’s side shortly after the break, before Antony scored in the closing stages to prove the winner.

Ten Hag had left the latter out of the lineup, but opted to use him in place of Wout Weghorst at half-time, and he got his payoff. As it turns out, this is part of a running theme this season at Old Trafford, one that Liverpool really need to try and emulate.

Manchester United’s 19 goals from substitutes

It was the 19th time a substitute has scored for Manchester United in all competitions this season, the most for any club in Europe’s top five leagues. Rashford was the most prolific off the bench, scoring six while Anthony Martial hit four after entering the fight.

Cody Gakpo sends Premier League warning after heeding Virgil van Dijk's message

Jadon Sancho and Alejandro Garnacho have also scored more than once as substitutes, while midfielder Fred has also appeared on several occasions. Cristiano Ronaldo, Antony and Scott McTominay complete the list with one each.

How is Liverpool doing in this department? First of all, it should be noted that he has played three fewer games than Manchester United so far. But that does not explain the extent of the deficit since the Reds are eight goals behind.

Liverpool’s 11 goals by my substitutes

Mohamed Salah is joint-leader after coming on as a substitute against Rangers in October and scoring the fastest hat-trick in Champions League history.
Sitting next to him is Darwin Núñez, who scored twice in his first two games against Manchester City and Fulham before also finding the net on the bench against Napoli/

Fábio Carvalho’s goal in the 9-0 win over Bournemouth, followed by his last-minute victory over Newcastle United three days later, puts him third on the list. Roberto Firmino, Harvey Elliott and Stefan Bajčetić all scored once from the bench.

One of the reasons Liverpool are so far behind Manchester United is that injuries have hit the attacking ranks hard, often denying Jurgen Klopp great firepower on his bench. Salah and Cody Gakpo, who was signed in January, were uninjured, but Núñez missed a total of seven games (including three by suspension) and Roberto Firmino 11 after a six-week post-World Cup break.
Most notably, Diogo Jota has been barely available this season, missing 23 games and Luis Díaz missing 24 after a long absence dating back to October.

Now that Jota and Firmino have returned and Díaz may be just weeks away from joining, Liverpool can once again emulate Manchester United.

Notably, in the club’s last 14 Premier League games, only Bajčetić has scored after 50 minutes, with an 81st-minute goal in a 3–1 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day. It’s a statistic (courtesy of Paul Joyce in the Saturday Times) that makes for grim reading. But as they welcome their full list of forwards back, Liverpool can finally recoup the late goals that have been a defining feature of this team in their splendour.