Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp offered surprise praise for Arsenal youngster Gabriel Martinelli after the Reds advanced to the EFL Cup final on Thursday night. Diogo Jota scored twice at the Emirates Stadium despite Klopp naming a makeshift team against the Gunners.
Jota finished off a fine Liverpool move inside 20 minutes to put his side ahead. He cut inside and wrong-footed Aaron Ramsdale. It was the first goal of the tie following the 0-0 draw at Anfield in the first leg.
The Portugal forward then benefitted from VAR in the 78th minute as he broke the offside trap and drinked an effort over Ramsdale.
Jota was initially adjudged to have been offside but the technology ruled in his favour.
It might have been obvious for Klopp to wax lyrical about the excellent Jota after the game. The 25-year-old stepped up and took responsibility in the absence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who are both at the Africa Cup of Nations.
But Klopp instead decided to praise Arsenal forward Martinelli, who has enjoyed a positive campaign.
Completely unprompted, Klopp told Sky Sports: “Martinelli by the way… everybody should remember that name. Outstanding player.”
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