Jurgen Klopp praises ‘exceptional’ Liverpool defender Nat Phillips after Brighton draw

Phillips put in a solid display alongside Fabinho (Picture: Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Liverprool defender Nat Phillips for his ‘exceptional’ display in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Diogo Jota opened the scoring for the Reds in the second half, before Pascal Gross’ controversial injury-time penalty earned the Seagulls a deserved point.

Andy Robertson caught Danny Welbeck with a wild swing when attempting to clear the ball in the box and referee Stuart Atwell pointed to the spot after reviewing the decision on his pitch-side monitor.

Klopp was happy with Phillips’ display (Picture: Getty Images)

Gross converted from 12 yards after his Brighton team-mate Neal Maupay missed from the spot earlier on in the match.

Klopp had to call on the inexperienced Philipps again in a new-look backline as the centre-back replaced Joel Matip, who was left out of the squad.

Phillips put in an assured display alongside Fabinho in just his second appearance of the season and the Reds boss reserved special praise for the 23-year-old after the game.

When asked about his side’s performance, Klopp told BT Sport: ‘Very good, I couldn’t be more proud of the boys what they put out here today.

‘In the first half hour we struggled with the new backline with their balls in behind because we didn’t drop at the right moment.

‘We got that sorted in the first half already. Second half we had no problems with that anymore. But second half we had some problems with energy so we sat a little bit deeper.

‘Nat Phillips played an exceptional game, honestly, so that was all good.

‘You need in football always a little bit of luck to win a tough away game. And today we didn’t have luck so it was a draw.’

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