For the FA Cup clash on Tuesday, Klopp made eight changes and it reaped its rewards as the energy and pressing made their return.
The 37-year-old keeps his place against Chelsea with Alexander-Arnold on the bench, the reason being a minor muscle injury that only allowed him to train on Friday.
“Trent only trained yesterday for the first time,” Klopp told BT Sport ahead of kickoff. A similar reason for Darwin Nunez sitting alongside the No. 66 having “only trained 1.5 days.”
The pair make up a strong bench, but it is the XI that caught the eye as Klopp rewarded those who secured the victory at Wolves.
“I liked everything, everything, he deserves it. He’s made massive steps with us. Imagine if I didn’t play him today,” Klopp said of 18-year-old Bajcetic.
“What would a footballer have to do to play? It was clear. If we could start with this midfield again, we would.”
Klopp’s XI was embraced by fans, who were pleased to see players rewarded for their performance in midweek:
Ballsy from Klopp. I like it. Trusting the same players who showed loads of fight against Wolves. Come on Redmen!
— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) January 21, 2023
I like the midfield. Would've obviously started TAA but Chelsea have no one with pace out wide who I'd fear one V one against Milner. Salah will have good supply lines either side of him with Gakpo and Elliott
— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) January 21, 2023
Come on the Redmen ??
A well deserved first Prem start for talented youngster Bajcetic ? https://t.co/kOWk77m0lu
— Neil Mellor (@NeilMellor33) January 21, 2023
Into these, Reds. Looking forward to seeing what this midfield can do. Let’s build on midweek.
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) January 21, 2023
It’s a big call by Klopp keeping faith with that midfield of Bajcetic/Keita/Thiago from midweek but feels like the right one. Also sends out a message in terms of rewarding players who have delivered. No-one left out can have any complaints after last weekend’s display. #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) January 21, 2023
I like it. I like it a lot actually.
— Ben Kelly (@bkelly776) January 21, 2023
Love that XI, simply for the message Klopp is sending.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) January 21, 2023
Suddenly you get to keep your place if you play well
I like it
— SimonBrundish (@SimonBrundish) January 21, 2023
Big decision. Rewarding the group for a battling display at Wolves. Only Salah and Alisson of regular starters return Midfield 3 in particular deserved to retain their places https://t.co/cCGPFAw1jT
— keith costigan (@KeithCostigan) January 21, 2023
Big day for Stefan Bajcetic, by far his biggest start for #LFC. Previous starts vs. Derby, Man City, Wolves in the cups.
Huge show of faith and well deserved, particularly with Fabinho struggling.
Bajcetic only turned 18 in October. Starting as No. 6 vs. Chelsea.
— Jack Lusby (@LusbyJack) January 21, 2023
Into these, Reds.