Jurgen Klopp says he dropped Loris Karius for Simon Mignolet against Middlesbrough because it’s “all about Liverpool”.
Karius had made a few high-profile mistakes coming into the match against Aitor Karanka’s men on Wednesday and he paid the price with his place in the side.
Mignolet stepped into his shoes for the Reds’ 3-0 victory against Boro and the Belgium international was called upon to make a couple of good saves in the first half.
On leaving out Karius, Klopp said: “Life is not always the nicest but these are my boys and for me it is important to push them and protect them and sometimes I have to make decisions I don’t like. I know how strong Loris is, but he couldn’t show it in the last few games.
“Judging him in this moment makes no sense. Simon Mignolet is on the bench and we have to have competition. It’s all about Liverpool. The boys have good character. Karius is still a great keeper.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 14, 2016
The victory moves Liverpool up to second in the Premier League table but they remain six points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
On their performance, Klopp said: “Not bad, eh? In the first half we were good, the second we were much better.
“We had moments in the first half where we were static and even I was confused. We did much better second half, we could have finished more often.
“Adam Lallana is improving even when he doesn’t score, but it’s nice he’s in that situation. About a year ago I had sat him in the office and I was happy with him but he was like ‘I’m not scoring’. And I said he wasn’t in the right positions. Tonight he was twice in the right position and it was wonderful.”