Former Liverpool midfielder Nigel Spackman believes Jon Flanagan’s crunching tackle on Raheem Sterling in the opening stages of the Reds’ 3-0 win over Manchester City lifted the atmosphere a few notches at Anfield.
“The crowd have been fantastic, always right behind me even in the dark days”.
Sterling managed just 45 minutes in which Flanagan got the better of him on several occasions – not least with one superb last-ditch tackle – before being hauled off at the break as his first return following his Â£49 million summer move ended disappointingly.
Jurgen Klopp spoke glowingly about Flanagan after the game, having hinted earlier in the week that the club would look to find a “positive solution” to ongoing contract talks with the 23-year-old.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss paid attention to Carragher’s advice as Flanagan started his first Premier League game since his comeback from injury at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Manchester City, meanwhile, make three changes from the side that prevailed on penalties at Wembley.
Flanagan, who missed the entirety of last season with a knee injury, said after the match that he made the challenge as he knew it would raise the atmosphere from Liverpool supporters still sore at Sterling’s departure.
“I am just leaving that side [his contract] to my agent to see what happens but it was great to hear those words from the manager in the press conference”.
“After 20-something months out he played so smart and so clever”, said Klopp.
“The Premier League is about playing Sunday-Wednesday-Sunday and we have to think about this”.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says the club must consider giving full-back Jon Flanagan a contract extension.
The Reds’ No. 14 insists that the emphatic victory must now act as a springboard for the remainder of the season, with Liverpool six points off fourth-place with an extra game to play.
“We want to be the first usually and if it’s possible in the table, but we have to wait for the right moment and we have to think about a lot of things”.