Cody Gakpo debut watch: How Liverpool new boy fared on first Reds appearance

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Cody Gakpo debut watch: How Liverpool new boy fared on first Reds appearance
Cody Gakpo debut watch: How Liverpool new boy fared on first Reds appearance

Cody Gakpo got to witness a Liverpool side that continues to cause their own problems as he made his Reds debut in a lively 2-2 draw with Wolves in the FA Cup third round.

The Dutchman completed 84 minutes and had a big hand in a Mo Salah goal as Liverpool struggled for cohesion, ultimately being grateful to escape with a replay.

As Jurgen Klopp had suggested at his pre-match press conference on Friday, there have been easier times to join Liverpool in the past few years, but Gakpo has come in at a time when everyone needs a lift.

The Reds boss was at pains to point out that the Dutch forward was "a guy who doesn't want to jump on a running train, he wants to push the train" and it was clear from the beginning that he was going to be key to getting his new side back on track.

Gakpo got himself heavily involved from the very start, interchanging well with Andy Robertson and looking dangerous.

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Predictably stationed on the left of the front three, Gakpo got off an early shot that was comfortable for Matija Sarkic to save, but showed his advertised trait of shooting on sight.

That could prove crucial for a Liverpool side who have been guilty of missing far too many gilt-edged chances this season, and also of handing out gifts to their opposition.

Cody Gakpo debut watch: How Liverpool new boy fared on first Reds appearanceGakpo got off an early shot in the game (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Alisson did just that when he presented Goncalo Guedes with the opening goal, and that sucked the life out of a Liverpool side who had started impressively only to quickly fade.

Gakpo had a quiet second half to the first half, and Liverpool had to be shaken out of their slumber by Trent Alexander-Arnold's superb pass to Darwin Nunez for the equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

Gakpo wasn't involved in that goal, but he was to be heavily responsible for the strike that put the Reds ahead early in the second period.

Cody Gakpo debut watch: How Liverpool new boy fared on first Reds appearanceGakpo helped assist Salah's goal against Wolves (AFP via Getty Images)

It was Dutchman's ball which caught out Toti Gomes, with the Wolves defender catching himself underneath the ball as he strained to clear. Mo Salah would have been offside were he to leave it, but he didn't know that, and Salah finished well.

If that was the goal that supposed to spark Liverpool into life then it never really happened, either for the team or for their new forward.

Liverpool were playing poorly, and having failed to grab a third goal they were punished at the other end when Hwang Hee-chan smuggled the ball over the line for an equaliser that Wolves deserved.

Gakpo then became swallowed up in the drama of the game as Liverpool pushed for a winner, albeit hardly convincingly as Wolves threatened on the break.

The new boy left the action six minutes from time looking extremely tired and no doubt all the better for the experience.

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Given their stuttering form, Liverpool will hope that he can use that experience to his advantage.

Mark Jones

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation