Having struggled throughout the first half against Fulham and gone behind through Willian’s strike, the Reds only played eight minutes of the second half before Klopp turned to his bench.
It was Nunez who assisted Curtis Jones‘ deflected equaliser, before the Uruguayan teed up Gakpo for a well-taken winner.
30 – Liverpool have had 30 goal involvements by substitutes in all competitions this season (15 goals, 15 assists), 12 more than any other Premier League club. Seven of these have been by Darwin Núñez (3 goals, 4 assists), the most by a player for a Premier League side. Impact.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 10, 2024
Per Opta, that brought the number of goal contributions from Liverpool substitutes in all competitions to 30, which is at least 12 more than any Premier League club.
Asked in his post-match press conference what he puts that down to, Klopp replied: “The boys.
“I hope you all know…I don’t care if you know, I love the kids, but you have to bring them in the right moment – or when you have to take risks, or whatever, that’s how it is.
“It must be the right moment.
“But when we have all available, and the quality we can bring on then, it’s pretty good, I have to say.
“Of course, at the moment they are not available, but the boys who came on, they have real quality, obviously, already.
“The others will have that properly in the future. And that’s the reason for it, you see that.”
In the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals, it was Gakpo and Nunez who made the telling impact, with the Uruguayan making more goal contributions from the bench in all competitions this season than any other Premier League player (seven).
Klopp made sure to give his starters the credit they deserved too, however, saying: “The impact they had was obviously really big, but before that we’d found our feet already slightly better.”
It is a testament to not only the mentality of the squad, but also the improved acumen of Klopp and his staff, that Liverpool were still able to turn the tide with 10 senior players out.
Victory over Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup and establishing a lead over Fulham before the trip to Craven Cottage has now allowed those involved to all take in a break, before the next game on January 21.