Jurgen Klopp saw a questionable midweek substitution pay off on Saturday as Liverpool emerged victors from their clash with Leicester.
The Reds earned a much-needed three points at the King Power Stadium to avoid extending their run without a win to five games.
Liverpool’s 3-2 win marked a perfect response to Tuesday’s League Cup defeat in the corresponding fixture, in which Klopp raised eyebrows by bringing off Philippe Coutinho after just 45 minutes.
The Brazilian proved to be an influential figure second time round, providing the assist for Mohamed Salah’s opener before firing in a sublime free-kick to double his side’s lead.
“I’m not blind, he was obviously good and that’s cool for us,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We think we did it right, we gave him 45 minutes [on Tuesday] so he could get a little bit more rhythm but it was not too intense – it was not too good for the game in midweek to take him off, to be honest!”
“But for today it was perfect and he can be happy about his performance and I am very happy about it.”
“In the last home game, I thought he could play 90 minutes but he got cramp on 80-something [minutes]. It should not be a problem.”
“Today we saw when [Demarai] Gray came on they had really wide wingers, so for our wingers it was then really important that they were still full of energy. We could change really well – I really loved the impact of Millie, Daniel and Ox. It was good and it’s all OK.”
Though Coutinho only managed 79 minutes, he edged a step closer to returning to full fitness and, in turn, a full 90 minutes of action.
The No.10’s added touch of class was vital in ensuring Klopp’s men made the most of their first half dominance against a Leicester side that threatened to spoil the party at times.
Having moved on from his long-running transfer saga, Coutinho already looks focused on the task at hand and rediscovering his top form in a Liverpool shirt.
Saturday served as a reminder of just how fierce a competitor he is and how Reds had no reason to fear a possible lack of fight.
Liverpool’s little magician is back.