Joe Gomez relishing chance to play with 'world class' Joel Matip

Liverpool’s Joe Gomez relishing chance to play with ‘world class’ Joel Matip at centre back after first start together in Man City draw as Jurgen Klopp looks for his most reliable pairing after Virgil van Dijk’s injury

  • Liverpool drew 1-1 with title rivals Manchester City in Premier League on Sunday 
  • Joe Gomez started at centre back alongside Joel Matip at the Etihad Stadium
  • Jurgen Klopp is contending with the long-term absence of Virgil van Dijk
  • Gomez admitted he is excited to play alongside Matip in the heart of the defence 

Joe Gomez spoke of his excitement of partnering Joel Matip in the heart of the Liverpool defence after the draw against Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp, who is having to contend with the long-term absence of Virgil van Dijk following Jordan Pickford’s tackle during the Merseyside derby, played Gomez and Matip at centre back together during the 1-1 draw at the Etihad.

It was the pair’s first start together, and Klopp’s 37th centre back partnership during his time on Merseyside since taking over in 2015.

Joe Gomez is looking forward to playing alongside Joel Matip more in the heart of the defence

Matip recovered in time from a hamstring injury to partner Gomez at centre back for Liverpool

And after Sunday’s draw, in which Gomez and Matip dealt with City’s attacking threat very well for the most part, the former insisted he is excited to play alongside his ‘world class’ team-mate going forward.

‘Joel, everyone knows how good he is. For me, he’s world class,’ Gomez told LFCTV following Sunday’s final whistle.

‘Obviously we’ve got a miss in Virgil, but I enjoy playing with Joel and we’ve just got to keep pushing and keep getting points together as a collective.’

Klopp is searching for his most reliable centre back pairing with leader Van Dijk set to be out for the rest of the season due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury while Fabinho, whose best position is in midfield, is also currently sidelined with a thigh issue.

Klopp has deployed both Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams alongside Gomez in recent matches but Matip remains the most accomplished and experienced defender out of the three.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were held to a 1-1 draw against title rivals Manchester City on Sunday

However, the biggest concern is whether Matip – who just recovered from a hamstring injury – can stay fit for an extended period of time for Liverpool.

Klopp was dealt another injury headache on Sunday when Trent Alexander-Arnold was forced off with a calf injury in the second half at the Etihad.

The right back will play no part in England’s upcoming internationals as Klopp confirmed he will undergo a scan on Monday. 

Liverpool had taken the lead against title rivals City, going ahead through a Mohamed Salah penalty early on.

Klopp is having to contend with the long-term absence of centre back Virgil van Dijk 

However, they were pegged back through Gabriel Jesus’ wonderfully taken goal and it could have got a whole lot worse had Kevin De Bruyne netted from the penalty spot after Gomez was ruled to have handled the ball in the box.

And after the game, England international Gomez revealed that a point was a fair result.

‘It’s not an easy place to come, and we have to accept that we had our chances and so did they,’ he said of the 1-1 draw at Man City.

‘So I think a point is a fair reflection.

‘We go into the international break now and hopefully we’ll come back healthy and ready to go.’

Trent Alexander-Arnold sustained a calf injury in the second half in Manchester on Sunday

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