Jurgen Klopp hails "absolutely massive" victory over Stoke City
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 11:01
Jurgen Klopp introduced Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino at the break and it turned out to be a masterstroke as both players got on the score-sheet during the second forty-five minutes.
The Brazil duo's introduction completely transformed the game, but Coutinho was keen to deflect the credit.
He added: "This was massive, it's absolutely massive". It feels like this.
"Today you could feel it immediately in the dressing room". Everybody was like: 'That's very important'.
"It feels outstandingly good in this moment".
But, aware Coutinho was struggling with diarrhoea and Firmino had been worn out, Reds boss Klopp admitted it was a big decision to bring on the Brazilians at the break as he feared they would only last 30 minutes.
Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are still injured, while Philippe Coutinho is a doubt due to an illness.
The German surprisingly left both on the bench in favour of youngsters Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold but with Liverpool trailing at halftime to a Jonathan Walters header he reverted to Plan B despite fitness worries over both.
"I would love to replace a player with exactly the same quality, maybe his twin", added Klopp.
The Reds have won just once in the Premier League without Mane this season - away at Stoke last weekend.
"Defending was not a problem but we didn't defend like we normally do; we couldn't go high pressure".
"But having too many players is not good for a squad because you kill development. I thought we have had wonderful games this season", Klopp said.
"Everybody saw it. It was not flawless and I made the decision". And the solution, I found it.
"I hope most of the team will be available". But [if the score] was still 0-0, then they could decide the game. Yes it has been intense but intensity is nothing to do with Hendo's injury, Adam's injury (on global duty) was a little bit about this but we couldn't influence this, Phil's injury against Sunderland was a challenge, Sadio was the same. Mignolet saves Liverpool with a remarkable save to deny Berahino a certain goal at the back post.
"And we needed Simon Mignolet with two outstanding saves, the second one was the best I have ever seen - the save of the year".
"In the second half we played more with the wing-backs instead of dropping deep, so I think that was the biggest difference between the first and second half".