When Liverpool are fully fit, it’s unlikely that Ragnar Klavan will get the call ahead of Dejan Lovren in the biggest matches. Still, the 30-year-old Estonian international has shown that he has a great deal to contribute to the squad this season. Not only did Klavan help ensure a second clean sheet in as many League Cup matches, but he helped out on the offensive side of things as well, putting the Reds up 1-0 in the 24th minute. It would be a lead they would not relinquish.
"It's a really nice moment as an individual but I was really happy that I could help the team," Klavan told the club’s official website. "We had a lot of possession and dominated the game but we didn't score [at first], but I was in the right place at the right moment - or maybe the wrong place, I don't know!
"I was there and made a goal and after that we didn't give away any goals and, to the end, we were good."
Well, if the result of being in the wrong place means more goals, by all means continue being in the wrong place.
The goal came courtesy of a poor clearance from a Philippe Coutinho corner, one that Klavan was fortunate enough to pounce on and stab home. It might be early days in the 2016-17 campaign, but Liverpool have looked better attacking set pieces on both sides of the ball. Klavan noted that this has been a particular point of interest on the training pitch.
"We work a lot on defensive set-pieces and also offensive ones. Slowly, you can see our defensive ones are getting better and also our offensive ones - we are nicking some goals."
If the Reds can get to a level of basic competency at defending set plays, and maybe even score a handful of their own, then it’ll be much easier to push up the table, and maybe even compete for some silverware before the season is out.