Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised his substitutes Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi and Luis Diaz for their displays in the win against Everton. The Reds picked up a crucial 2-0 victory over the Toffees at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday (April 24).
With the game deadlocked at 0-0, Klopp made a double substitution at the hour mark by replacing Sadio Mane and Naby Keita with Diaz and Origi respectively. The Belgian had an instant impact, playing a key role in the build-up to the first goal two minutes later. Diaz then assisted Origi for the second goal in the 85th minute to seal the contest.
Klopp also brought on Henderson just three minutes before Origi’s goal. During his brief cameo, the Liverpool captain recorded two key passes, won two ground duels and made a tackle to help his side keep Everton at bay.
The German tactician understandably praised the impact his substitutes had, saying (as quoted by the Liverpool Echo):
“They did what substitutions should do. We are really happy with their impact this season, to be honest. When the boys come on it is all about the right mindset, being ready including all three subs, Hendo came on late but how he showed up was absolutely exceptional.”
“Obviously, Luis and Divock were involved in the goals and that helps especially when you play against such a low block.”
He also provided some insight into his side’s approach to the game, adding that they needed to take risks to seal the match. Klopp said:
“Was it brave? We tried to adapt the game as well in the protection, Anthony (Gordon) was on his bike a couple of times, we cannot leave Joel (Matip) constantly there alone, it makes no sense. We told Trent (Alexander-Arnold) to play from a little bit deeper and we wanted Fab on that side as well.”
The German added:
“So we knew where the threat was coming from and still couldn’t always defend it in the first place. That is how it is. In football, if you don’t take risks you cannot win a football game. It was obviously easy to improve from the first half and we did, that’s why it was all good.”
Liverpool stay on course in Premier League title race
The pressure was on Liverpool heading into the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday. They entered the game four points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, who thrashed Watford 5-1 at home a day earlier.
Everton kept Klopp’s side at bay for most of the first half, with neither side recording a shot on target. However, the hosts looked much better in the second half. Mohamed Salah and Origi’s excellent link-up play eventually opened up the Toffees’ defence to allow Andy Robertson to open the scoring.
Origi then sealed the contest from Diaz’s assist to take the Reds back to within a point of City with five games to go.