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Henderson was ‘magnificent’ at centre-back for Liverpool - Lallana

5:34 AM IST 20/12/19
Jordan Henderson Liverpool 2019-20
The Reds midfielder has praised his skipper for putting in a shift in an unfamiliar defensive role when the team needed him

Adam Lallana has revealed how impressed he was with club captain Jordan Henderson’s ‘magnificent’ performance out of position at centre-back in Liverpool’s Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey.

The Reds were left short on defensive options in Qatar, with Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren injured, while Virgil van Dijk was ill, leaving just Joe Gomez as a natural centre-half.

Previously, Brazilian defensive midfielder Fabinho has been asked by head coach Jurgen Klopp to fill in at the back, but he is also sidelined with an injury.

As a result, central midfielder Henderson was pressed into action as a defender and helped his side to a 2-1 win over their Mexican opponents, with Roberto Firmino snatching a late winner off the bench.

“We had Hendo [Jordan Henderson] at centre-half and I thought he was magnificent,” Lallana said to The Guardian.

“That is all part of the character and the mentality and why we keep churning out late winners. It’s as simple as that.”

Henderson, however, praised the players around him for guiding him through his first-ever professional game as a central defender, and reiterated his commitment to the team, insisting that he would do the same again in the Club World Cup final against Flamengo if Van Dijk remains unavailable.

“That was different,” Henderson joked. “I had fantastic players around me, and they helped me out. It was different to anything that I have been used to. I’ve played at full-back, but I’ve never played there before.

“I just tried to do my best for the team and thankfully we got the win. I don’t know what will happen with Virgil on Saturday. Fingers crossed he will be okay.

“Of course, if the manager needed me to go there again, I would do it. It is anything to help the team.

“We wanted to get to the final and we want to win. We have done the first bit by getting to the final and now we want to win it. That’s the mentality of this team.”

Liverpool have never won the Club World Cup and are looking to become the first English side since Manchester United in 2008 to win the title if they can beat their Brazilian opponents on Saturday.