Jurgen Klopp drew encouragement from the performances of Xherdan Shaqiri and Joel matip in Liverpool’s comfortable 3-0 win over Southampton at Anfield on Saturday.
Shaqiri made his full debut for the club and played a part in two of the three Liverpool goals through a deflected shot, and a free kick. The Swiss international was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself and was withdrawn at half time for tactical reasons.
Matip, who returned from injury for his first start of the season, also put in a solid performance and topped it off with a towering headed goal (from Shaqiri’s corner).
Klopp was pleased with his two players, who had before the weekend been limited to cameo roles so far this season. Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Klopp said:
“Shaq between the lines – I liked that. He was very influential and made two goals, very good. And Joel… not a bad header! It helped, that’s all good.
“And it’s good for us to know that we can make changes and still win football games. We knew it before but sometimes you have to prove it and that’s what we did.”
Despite the positives elicited from Liverpool’s seven-match winning run, the Reds manager is remaining grounded about the Southampton performance in the midst of a congested and difficult fixture list.
“We could have scored more, right, but they caused us real problems; I don’t think they had a lot of chances, maybe Austin at the end was the biggest one, but they played good football,” said Klopp.
“We gave a bit, but still you have to use it and that’s what they did. That was really good and brave of Southampton. We scored all three goals after set-pieces and had other chances, which is good, and didn’t use them.
“It’s really all OK but it’s not that I’m over the moon and struggle to get my arms down or whatever. I’m fine with that but I know we have to carry on.”
Liverpool next take on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night at Anfield.