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Jurgen Klopp praises 5 Liverpool players after Community Shield win over Man City

Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners over Manchester City at the King Power Stadium thanks to goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s effective substitutes had a significant impact on Saturday’s Community Shield victory and will continue to play an important role for the Reds this season.

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Premier League clubs will be allowed to make five substitutions during matches during the upcoming season, a law change that has been welcomed by the German after several requests for this change.

During Saturday’s opener at the King Power Stadium, Liverpool and Manchester City each had six substitutions available, which Klopp made full use of by introducing Darwin Nunez, Harvey Elliott, James Milner, Naby Keita, Fabio Carvalho, and Curtis Jones. Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, used only three players to try to turn the tide in his team’s favor.

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Left impressed by Liverpool’s ability to take back control of the contest, Klopp is under no illusions just how much of a game-changer five subs could be having witnessed the benefits at the home of Leicester City.

“Both teams used what was available today – that’s what we could have expected and that’s what happened,” he said. “The first line I liked a lot, it was really good how Bobby [Firmino] used the decisive spaces and kept City away from our goal. There were ups and downs in the game and, in the end, both teams fought really hard to make the decision in the last minute or so. It was really cool.

“When you see the squad and who they [Man City] could bring on, it’s very experienced and has proven quality. We have space to prove quality from the bench and I’m really excited by what’s coming there. I loved Harvey’s [Elliott] impact and Millie, I’m not sure which level he can reach this year to be honest. It looks very promising with Millie, Curtis and Naby… wow, when he came on! The boys who were not involved today are in good shape as well. That was the impression I had after pre-season, but then you need a real game to show how far you are. I thought it was absolutely OK.”

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A manager known to strive for perfection at all times, the Sky Blues’ solitary strike highlighted how there remains room for improvement going forward under Klopp. An arranged behind-closed-doors friendly pencilled in for the day after the Reds’ opening Premier League fixture made clear the manager is not fully satisfied with the fitness levels of his squad, a message he reiterated after the full-time whistle had blown.

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“I liked the whole game. I even liked the problems in the game, especially when you win it in the end. I really like the problems because you can work and I know we have to work,” added Klopp.

“We have to extend our pre-season for at least two weeks; there is no other chance. We cannot go into a normal rhythm and play games at the weekend, then we are not prepared for the three games a week we will have in three or four weeks. It was, for me, a really nice watch. It is the most difficult opponent you could get, they don’t get worse, they strengthen and improve and develop.”

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