Premier League • England

‘Wow’; Klopp buzzing with Liverpool star and defends left-field selection

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Porto 2021 TEAMtalk1

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for the way his side beat Porto 2-0 and stressed that all his players were selected on merit.

The Reds made it five wins from five in Europe’s top club competition. Following a goalless first half, Thiago Alcantara and Mohamed Salah found the net to give the hosts a comfortable victory. Spain midfielder Thiago lit up Anfield with a stunning 25-yard strike on 52 minutes.

And Salah put the gloss on the display with 20 minutes left on the clock. The result means the Merseysiders have a maximum 15 points from their five games and are 10 points clear of second-placed Porto.

It was not a vintage Liverpool display and the visitors played their part. Klopp was happy with the result and made it clear his men were always looking for the three points.

“It was good, we could have done better and been more calm in the first half but we were a bit hectic. That is not unusual when you put a team out that has not played together a lot,” he told BT Sport.

“Some people think we might play an easy game but we were not here for that, Anfield is sold out so we want to go (for it).”

And the German felt there were so many positives outside of the result.

“Thiago’s goal, wow! It is so important, so many good things happened tonight, players got minutes, rhythm, confidence, nobody got hurt, our head of rehab said give James Milner 15 minutes and he got 12 or 13,” he added.

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“Jordan Henderson played, Andrew Robertson came on and the right players could get rested like Trent Alexander-Arnold, who should not play all the time.”

Klopp hails young duo

Liverpool had already qualified for the knockout stage ahead of the match. It always seemed as though the manager would rest a few players and experiment with some youngsters.

That is what happened as 20-year-old Neco Williams and 19-year-old Tyler Morton were given the nod. Klopp praised the duo and was quick to point out that he would never select anyone who was underprepared.

Neco Williams playing for Wales

“If you are in our squad, you are good football player. I have been in the business long enough not to throw players in who are not ready,” he continued.

“Neco Williams can play, people might be surprised with Tyler Morton but he did exceptionally well. He is a good player and really pleased for him that he put a performance in like this.”

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