With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out for a long time, a lot of responsibility falls on Joël Matip’s shoulders. Now he just has to stay away from more injuries.
Matip (29) and his teammates come from 3-0 over Leicester and can qualify for the cup game in the Champions League with a victory over Atalanta on Wednesday.
When asked if he feels extra responsibility with van Dijk and Gomez outside and young stoppers like Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams inside, the German Cameroonian answers:
– Of course you will always help your teammates, and it does not matter who he is or how many years he is.
Against Leicester last, it was midfielder Fabinho who was Matips’ stopper colleague.
– Fabinho was great. He looked like he had never done anything but play center back. He did really well, and so did the whole team.
Joël Matip lost the last part of last season and has also struggled since the start of the 2020/21 season in mid-September.
He was first injured in the league opener against Leeds and was out for just over a month. Then he was back against Everton – and suffered another injury and another three weeks out. Now Matip has stood 90 minutes in the last two league games, and manager Jürgen Klopp crosses everything he has so that he does not lose another midfielder.
Against Leicester, Matip was in good, old shape and did not give Jamie Vardy any leeway.
– They have both done very well, says Matip about Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.