Jurgen Klopp issued special praise to Adam Lallana following Liverpool’s victory over Burnley on Sunday.
Braces from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane gave the Reds a 4-2 win at Anfield and ensured they remain just a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
However, Reds boss Klopp stated before the match that the midfielder’s form in training was the reason behind him being in the starting XI – echoing these views at full-time.
Klopp told talkSPORT’s Graham Beecroft: “I’m really happy for him, he had a good performance.
“It’s not often that we have a week of training to prepare for a game and in these sessions, players can show up and he showed up.
“He deserved that spot today – it’s not about who we bought in the summer or a summer ago. Adam was here when I came here and he’s an important part of the squad.
“I think he had that best time with me when he played in that position [just off the striker] but he has had a lot of injuries.
“He gives us creativity, he gives you the surprising passes, chipping balls through and we know he can do a lot more than he did today but for a first game that was quite impressive.”
Liverpool had to work hard for their win – going 1-0 down after Ashley Westwood scored directly from a corner.
Replays suggested Alisson Becker was impeded in the Liverpool goal as the corner came in but the goal stood and Alisson received a yellow card for his animated protests.
Klopp was very happy with the way his players responded and feels his players ‘mixed it up’ effectively against Sean Dyche’s men.
Klopp added: “Being 1-0 down with a goal that should not count I would say but it was in the 8th minute so there was still enough time for us to do what we wanted to do in the game.
“The boys did really well. Against Burnley you need to be at 100 per cent and if you don’t fight and only play a little bit, they punish you.
“If you only fight then they are better than that so you have to mix it up against them and that’s what we did.
“The first goal was a beautiful goal, the second one was brilliant counter-pressing block and Sadio finished it off.
“We got the third one in the second-half and from then you have to change the approach and we didn’t!
“There was a drop in energy levels so we made two changes but then Burnley scored.
“It would have been really harsh if they scored a third one but we scored a fourth. All good, well done.”