Klopp told the club’s channel: “I don’t know if it was before or after (Liverpool’s second goal) but it was in that period.
? That Alexis Mac Allister pass to put Jota through was absolutely world class. https://t.co/vvF0hDR0zC
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) January 2, 2024
“Pep Lijnders came to me and said ‘Boss, we need to bring Macca on. Wataru’s (Endo) on yellow and we need Macca’s (Alexis Mac Allister) passes’.”
Klopp did make the change, in the 75th minute, bringing the Argentine on for his first appearance since December 6.
It didn’t take long for Mac Allister to make an impact, providing a brilliant pass for Diogo Jota to win a penalty, just 10 minutes later.
In front of the camera, Klopp then produced his big, booming laugh before continuing: “Not bad, eh? Really good, I’m so happy, and then Diogo was gone and Mo this time used it. What a night!”
While Klopp may have made the substitution at some point, Lijnders’ urgency helped Liverpool push on and it ultimately paid off.
The assistant coach has been given extra responsibilities in recent years, including taking press conferences for League Cup fixtures and acting as the lead coach when Klopp has been absent from the sidelines.
He has also had influence over the team’s playing style and the decision to use Trent Alexander-Arnold as an inverted right-back, a choice that received criticism and praise at different times during 2023.
Something Klopp himself has improved on since arriving on Merseyside has been his substitutions. They are consistently changing games this season but the manager played down his influence after the match.
“If you have these options to bring on, that’s obviously pretty helpful,” Klopp said in his press conference.