Jurgen Klopp has told BT Sport (broadcast on 28/11; 14:42) that he thought that Nat Phillips was exceptional in Liverpool’s draw with Brighton on Saturday.
The Reds had to settle for a point against the Seagulls. Diogo Jota handed the visitors the lead on the hour-mark.
However, the VAR disallowed two Liverpool goals for offside. And Brighton were awarded a late penalty after the referee was instructed to consult the pitch side monitor.
So it was another frustrating result for the Premier League champions. However, Klopp was pleased with how his defence performed – and singled out the 23-year-old for particular praise.
“We spoke before the game. The last line is not settled together, but that’s normal,” he told BT Sport.
“You sometimes have to learn in the game. The boys did that. That was really good. Nat Phillips played an exceptional game so that was all good.”
Phillips certainly appeared to grow into the game after a tough first-half. But as Klopp seems to suggest, that is understandable.
Andrew Robertson was the only member of the defence that would have started had Klopp had his best team available. And Phillips was making only his second appearance of the season.
Given the current problems Liverpool are dealing with, it seems likely that Phillips will get plenty more chances over the coming weeks.
Klopp certainly seems to have been incredibly impressed by what he saw from the youngster. And on a day in which the Reds missed the opportunity to go three points clear, Phillips appears to have provided one of the positives to reflect upon.