Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to the contributions of surprise selections Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri following Liverpool’s 5-2 win over Everton.
The German provided a shock with his teamsheet for the 234th Merseyside derby, making five changes and handing a number of fringe players a chance to impress.
However, they could not have done more with the opportunity, Origi grabbing a brace and Shaqiri also netting as the hosts ran out comfortable victors.
On Origi, who now has five goals against the Toffees, Klopp said: “Outstanding! What a game he played. It was not only the goals but the goals were exceptional.
“The first one was a great attack in general – winning the ball, Adam [Lallana] passes to Sadio; Sadio sees the run, sees his movement and passes that ball in exactly the right moment, one touch and an open goal, great.
“The second one… in Germany when I was young one highlight of my week was always goal of the week and goal of the month; when they selected these, that would have been 100 per cent in contention. It was just a great first touch and then finishing it off like this.
“Apart from that, incredibly important runs for us, movements, used his speed, looked so natural. That was the most important thing. The understanding with Shaq and Sadio was obviously really good. So it was a pretty impressive performance of Div.”
Shaqiri’s performance was all the more impressive given it came while making his first start since the Champions League victory over Barcelona seven months ago.
When informed of that fact, Klopp replied: “Really? Sorry Shaq! He was injured a couple of times.
“If he could have scored two goals like Divock instead of one, I could say exactly the same [as I said about Origi].
“He looked completely fresh, he looked strong, physically strong, so it is important players train after they get injured. He had twice this calf thing this season, so there was not a lot to change but I think he has been back in training for two or three weeks now completely normal.
“He understood the situation, that’s how it is in a squad when you win a lot of games, you don’t make 20 changes.
“It was always clear this period now of the year is where we need all of the boys and I hope they will then be in the shape like Shaq and Div tonight, or Adam [Lallana] tonight.
“It’s really important and gives us the feeling that we can do it more often – and we will do it more often. It was an incredible performance, the set-pieces were outstanding. It was all really good. More to follow!”