Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised the impact of Daniel Sturridge after his team’s Merseyside derby win over Everton.
Sturridge came off the bench late on to set up the winner at Goodison Park on Monday, hitting the post with an effort which Sadio Mane put away on the rebound in the 94th minute.
The England international has been linked with a move away in January, but Klopp sung his praises after his late impact.
“It’s like this, you have Daniel Sturridge on the bench you always think ‘OK, when is the time, when can we bring him? Is he ready for this?'” the German said.
“Because it’s not usual or normal that after two sessions a player can really help you, but he helped us a lot tonight in a very difficult game.
“He could make kind of the difference in this moment, but it was really important that we… I don’t want to be disrespectful so don’t misunderstand, but it was like in the first half we said ‘OK, now we are warm’ because it was not too intense for us and they had a lot to do.
“So they are halfway tired and so when Danny comes in after 70 minutes, it was a real intense game and so then to bring in real fresh legs then, that’s a good thing to do.”
Meanwhile, Klopp felt his team could have played the final 20 minutes against 10 men after Ross Barkley’s rash challenge on Jordan Henderson.
Barkley was only shown a yellow card by referee Mike Dean, and Klopp said the midfielder – and Henderson – were fortunate.
“I saw it was a really harsh, harsh challenge but you saw it all so I don’t have to say anything about this,” he said.
“I think Ross is lucky and Hendo is lucky, nothing else happened.”