Jürgen Klopp makes 11 changes and includes two 18-year-old’s as Liverpool advance in the EFL Cup with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur…
The team sheet may have looked unusual to many against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night but the performance from the hosts was every bit Jürgen Klopp‘s Liverpool.
Both the Merseysiders and Spurs made extensive changes for their EFL Cup fourth round tie but the encounter was brimming with the usual quality and intensity observers have come to expect from these two impressive outfits.
In Liverpool’s line-up, alongside a number of perennial bench warmers and regular U23s, were teenagers Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria, handed their senior debut and first start respectively.
The combination of experienced pros and youngsters dovetailed seamlessly and helped to ensure the vibrancy of recent Premier League displays continued.
Daniel Sturridge was the standout name on show and he duly produced the goods with a goal in each half to make a disputed late Spurs penalty immaterial.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Klopp labelled the victory a deserved one, believing the margin of victory should have been far greater.
“The penalty made it a little bit closer,” evaluated the German. “That was the only really difficult situation for us.
“After this, with 10 or 12 minutes to go, it is like it is – it’s a game-changer. But we had the opportunities, we had the chances, we could have scored two, three or four [more] times. But we don’t live in dreamland and it’s not that you can think about closing the game at 3-0 or 4-0 early enough that everybody knows we go to the quarter-final.
“No, we had to do the job. We didn’t score in the moments when we could have. They scored the penalty. 2-1 is close but now it is not interesting anymore because we are in the next round.”
On the subject of the quality of youngsters coming through at Anfield, Klopp commented: “I made the line-up then I saw it on paper and thought, ‘Oh, still really good!’ so of course we’re happy about the players we have.
“There are a few more to come, a little bit younger than the guys who made their debuts tonight – in U23s, U18s and even U15 already. There are good boys and that’s good news for Liverpool.
“We can talk about it, but after tonight we should not talk about it too much because they [will go] back in the Academy, train hard and come again when there is a game when we need them. That’s how it is.
“We have a few of them with us every day and that’s good, it helps them. All the others are in the Academy and when they are ready, they can make the next step.”
A host of established players are expected to return to the fold when the Reds travel to Crystal Palace in the league on Saturday.
The draw for the EFL Cup fifth round will take place tonight following the climax of the final fourth round ties.
So that’s what both us and Klopp thought about the game, how about you? Let us know your views below…
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