Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed the impact of Daniel Sturridge after his first appearance in a month propelled them to victory in the Merseyside derby.
The game looked to be heading for a goalless draw until deep into eight minutes of stoppage time when Sturridge, returning as an 82nd-minute substitute after a calf injury, ran across the area and rolled a shot against the post from which Sadio Mane followed up to score.
Fitness, not quality, has always been the issue for the England international and Klopp was pleasantly surprised Sturridge was able to have such an influence having only just returned to full training.
“You’re thinking ‘Is he really ready for this?’, because it’s not usual that a player can really help you after only two sessions, but he really helped us at the end,” said Klopp.
“It was really intense and bringing on fresh legs was a really good thing that we could do.
“Daniel hit the post, Sadio finished the situation, so great.
“It wasn’t the greatest football but you have to take it as it is and in the second half we took it.”
Klopp went on to say how his half-time adjustment changed the game as his backroom staff showed the Liverpool players how the ball was not sticking to the forwards or midfielders in the first-half, which was ruining Liverpool’s transmission from defence to attack versus Everton.
The Liverpool boss has explained how he quickly collated a video displaying his side’s mistakes during the first 45 at Goodison, in which we didn’t create much of note and were actually under the cosh for the opening 20.
“You cannot be 100% sure what the opponent is going to do.
“We showed the boys at half-time, it was two-and-a-half minutes or something, playing the ball then losing it when Adam lost it, counter-attack, coming back and then in the end, Clyney is free in the box, cross and Div could have scored.
“In the first half, the position ‘8’ we lost a bit of patience & not being an option. We looked at half time & it obviously worked.”