Ahead of the match against Manchester City on Sunday there was some buzz about big news, or maybe even a big announcement, ahead of kickoff. In the end, it wasn’t anything to do with big signing or contract extension. Instead, it was a goalkeeper change. Simon Mignolet was out, and Loris Karius was in.
After giving Mignolet the first half of the season to prove he could be Liverpool’s long-term answer in goal, Jürgen Klopp was making a change. Now, Loris Karius was to be given his chance. Then, Liverpool preceded to concede three goals—albeit against the best attacking side in the league.
“He’s the number one,” Klopp said following the nervy, thrilling 4-3 victory when asked if he might reconsider his decision to give Karius an extended run. “He might make mistakes but this is life and we will not make any changes. When it comes to goalkeepers you make a decision and stick with it.”
Though Karius wasn’t to blame for City’s second and third goals, many pointed to him on their first, when a Leroy Sane shot beat him at his near post. Klopp, though, was quick to point to a goalkeeping mistake by City’s Ederson, who cleared the ball straight to Mohamed Salah for Liverpool’s fourth.
Nobody, Klopp pointed out, will be questioning Ederson’s long-term suitability due to that mistake. Still, Ederson has a proven track record that Karius doesn’t, and it will be up to Karius to prove any mistakes are the exception rather than the rule if he’s to keep the starting job longer-term.