Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson may have been sidelined for the 3-2 win over West Ham, but that didn’t stop him from having a key role behind the scenes against the Hammers. The Reds captain picked up a hamstring injury in the 1-0 Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid and is expected to miss three weeks of action.
Yet given his importance to this Liverpool side, Henderson took it upon himself to go the extra mile to help spur his team-mates on to victory.
Before the game he was in the dressing room, issuing a rallying cry to ensure Liverpool did not get complacent.
Their first-half performance suggests they did not understand the message as they switched off after Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener.
Issa Diop and Pablo Fornals scored to give the Hammers hope they could take a memorable three points back to east London from Merseyside.
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But goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane helped the Reds turn things around following some much-needed advice from Henderson to remain within four wins of the Premier League title.
During the match, Henderson was perched behind the Liverpool bench in a thick coat and woolly hat shouting out instructions.
After West Ham took the lead, you could see him shake his head in disbelief, knowing he could do nothing to impact the scoreline.
Henderson was soon on the field at half-time, dishing out the bear hugs for a job well done in the end.
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Andy Robertson hailed the importance of Henderson after the game and the extra lengths he went to in the dressing room.
“When you don’t have your captain out there, you can feel it,” Robertson told The Athletic.
“Hendo is a real leader. He was in the changing room before saying a few words and he was exactly the same as he always is before games. And he was in there again afterwards.
“It was good having him there. Everyone hates being on the sidelines and Hendo is no different. The quicker he’s back the better for all of us.”
Jason Cundy has claimed that the performance proved just how important Henderson is to Liverpool.
“The best Liverpool side has Henderson in it,” he told talkSPORT.
“They were complacent against West Ham. When you go 1-0 up against a side that is fighting relegation, and you are ripping the league to pieces, I think there is perhaps a little bit of room for that.
“Liverpool came unstuck a little bit tonight but they got the three points and I guarantee Klopp will be telling his gang, ‘if you want to do that in the Champions League against Atleti, if you put in a performance like that, there is no way you’re going through, no way on this earth’.
“They’ve got to be better than that. And you wonder whether Henderson’s influence on the pitch might have got them going.”
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